#CBR11 Bingo: Remix
(Would also work for Award Winner, Listicle (was on a ton of Best of 2018 lists) and/or Cannonballer Recommends)
Official book description:
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
I really didn’t know a whole lot about Circe before coming to this book. I read The Odyssey in my first years of university in Scotland, when I studied Classics (so much more entertaining than that snooze fest The Aeneid), where Circe of course appears in a whole chapter, famously turning most of Odysseus’ men into pigs. Of course, the power of Odysseus’ charisma was such that by the end of his visit on Circe’s island, she was pretty much his devoted handmaiden.
Madeline Miller, award-winning author of The Song of Achilles (which I also need to read, but I just can’t deal with unhappy endings right now), goes through the known myths about Circe and gives the tales her more modern and feminist interpretation. I think we all know that being a woman in any Greek myth is pretty much the pits. It’s also been clear throughout history that any woman who dares to stand up for herself, show independence and power of her own is probably going to be feared and vilified. So it’s no wonder that Circe, a strong, independent woman who had the temerity to transform drunken sailors into beasts would become a cautionary tale.
Full review on my blog.
Bingo #1: Remix (this), True Story (Ambition and Desire), Far and Away (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Youths! (All the Bright Places), Reading the TBR (Neanderthal Seeks/Marries Human).