Circe by Madeline Miller
Little, Brown and Company, 2018
A beautiful, immortal witch who doesn’t take crap from anyone — including her father, the sun God Helios. Three cheers for Circe! And three cheers for anyone else that overcomes their intimidation of Greek mythology and picks up a copy of Madeline Miller’s, Circe.
I am embarrassed to admit my ignorance of Greek mythology — particularly because I even took a Greek Mythology class in college and obviously didn’t pay a lick of attention. But don’t let that stop you from picking up a copy of this gem. You can still enjoy the adventures, perils and romance that ensue within the pages of Circe. You may even be surprised by what you do remember, as the various characters appear throughout the story — Apollo, Odysseus and the Cyclops, Jason and the Argonauts; Icarus and his waxed wings; the Minotaur and the labyrinth. Miller works within the ancient myths, but spins her own feminist twist. So those of you that are already fans of Greek mythology may find Miller’s approach both surprising and refreshing.
Circe is a nymph who is mocked by her family and eventually exiled by the God’s (who fear her powerful sorcery) to the island Aiaia. Emotionally wounded, isolated and incredibly empathetic, it is there that Circe develops her strong will and hones her occult talents. She is beautiful, powerful and full of sass. Circe is not afraid to confront the powerful and vengeful Athena; turns ravaging sailors into pigs; struggles as a single mother; serves as a midwife to a Minotaur; and outsmarts the monster, Scylla.
And like any strong woman, Circe must choose her own destiny. Does she belong with the God’s of her making, or the mortals she has come to love?
The bottom line: If Circe decided to run for office, I’d vote for her in a heartbeat. She has soul, passion, smarts and integrity. And if we’re lucky, she may turn a few nameless individuals into pigs (just joking).
Lyrical prose, captivating stories, and a heroine worthy of worshipping. I definitely encourage you to pick up a copy of Circe at your local bookstore or library.