Circe by Madeline Miller
We all learned Greek mythology in school. The stories and lessons we learned have filtered in surprising aspects of our life. Yet the stories were always empty, just words on a page. Statues of various levels of nakedness around museums were given barely a glance.
So when I saw how popular Circe was within circles, I was very skeptic about the whole thing. I could not wrap my mind why a book with Greek mythology was gaining popularity among the sea of assassin trained princess and battles for thrones.
It was the splendid shiny cover that became my lure. That gold design of an ancient art eyed me every moment, daring me to open the cover. Those unblinking eyes bore a straight path into my book soul, burning through my doubts and clearing the way so it was all I could see.
Until it became unbearable and I must read it. I must read it now! Scurry over my local library website, find the book on the catalog, place the request…..”You are #178….waiting to read one of 25 copies available".”
Welp, time was the one that twarted the beckoning call. A mere delay until the notification came that the book was ready to be picked up. Engrossment in one hour to full blown marathon reading in days.
It was glorious and I am still suffering from the withdrawal symptoms from such a great reading experience.
Recall the tale of Circe the Witch. Honestly, it was almost near impossible to remember. Now recall The Odyssey. That should be a stronger memory. Odysseus had landed on Circe’s shore during his travels. It was her island where the crew became pigs and he had to do some major sweet talk to get them back as humans. Two of my favorite monsters, Scylla and Charybdis, are also associated with this timeline.
The books begins way earlier with Circe. Daughter of a god and a nymph. she was one of my children running around. She was was often chastised for her voice and was overlooked most of the time. Until she met a man who willingly suffered and began to feel. As she explores these thoughts and attempting to navigate the politics of those around her, her witch powers begin to manifest. A tragic incident fast tracks her exile to her island. Where instead of wallowing in self-despair, she thrives.
Circe is not just a story from the witch’s point of view from being surrounded by immortals to her life on the island. It s a story of a girl becoming a woman through her own decisions and strengths buoyed by loneliness. betrayal, and love. Even though she herself is an immortal, time is nothing but an extended timeline for her to deal with her experiences. Oddly, for an immortal character, it is one of the most compelling stories of a human nature.
It breathed depth and life to the history, to the art, to the stories. It offered a different look to what I’ve known to see even layers to their personality.
There was a very good reason this was popular. I could barely put it i down! I definitely recommend it in between book spells as this will definitely re-charge the need more great stories!
Author website: http://madelinemiller.com/circe/