Circe | Madeline Miller

“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”

Genre: Mythology.
Number of Pages: 394.
Perspective: First.
Location: Greece.
This is a Greek mythology retelling from the perspective of the witch, Circe, from The Odyssey. It is similar to how Wicked gave backstory to the Wicked Witch. For a complete summary, you can go here.

I have mixed feelings on this one. Let me start by saying that I never enjoyed Greek mythology (except the Disney version of Hercules). So I really thought I would hate this book. The only reason why I even read it is because it was my book club’s pick. 

But Miller’s way of writing is captivating and hooked me from the beginning. I was caught up in it and loved all the action in the first half. I give the first half five stars. But the middle part slowed for me once she was on her own island. Then once Odysseus arrived, it was even worse (maybe I have some lingering feelings of hatred toward him because of my high school English class dissecting The Odyssey at great lengths). After he arrived, I felt like we went over the same stories multiple times. It all felt very redundant (but I understand Greek mythology is based around storytelling). So the second half was 3 stars for me. The last little part redeemed the book a little, which is how I ended up at 4 stars. 

For someone like me who blacked out all knowledge of Greek mythology from high school, the glossary of names in the back was EXTREMELY useful. I checked that thing at least 200 times. Without it, I probably would have given up on the book. (Not to mention several very similar names—which is a Greek mythology problem, not a writer problem). 
The people in my book club who normally like historical fiction and mythology LOVED this book. SO I highly recommend it. I may even pick up Miller’s first book The Song of Achilles. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

“He showed me his scars, and in return he let me pretend that I had none.”

4/5 Stars

Do you agree? Disagree?