August 19, 2018

Circe: Author Madeline Miller tackles Greek mythology

Like many high school and college students, do you remember being required to read Edith Hamilton’s classic book Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes? The Greek stories interested me the most, but it also contained Roman and Norse mythology seen through the work of poets, playwrights and historians.

If you feel like revisiting Greek mythology in an engagingly written fiction format, look no further than Circe by Madeline Miller. I must admit that I did not initially appreciate the florid prose but then I got sucked into the timeless tale of Circe and her world of Titans, Olympians and humans brave enough to fraternize with gods.

I felt like I was reminiscing about long-lost relatives and old school chums as I encountered names such as Daedalus, Odysseus, Hermes, Athena, Medea, the Minotaur and Zeus. Daughter to the sun god, Helios, Circe is the underdog child who is banished to a deserted island where she polishes her witchcraft and entertains the occasional visitor. Just let me tell you that she does not reward “piggish” human behavior.

Miller has a previous book entitled Achilles which goes on my “to read” list. I could stand to be refreshed on the Trojan War, with Helen, Achilles, Hector, Paris and that horse.

Circe by Madeline Miller is Greek to you and me, but in a good way.

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