This is an Odyssey retelling as told by Hera. We get more of a focus on Penelope and the women who surround her as she waits for the return of Odysseus.
The thing about retellings is that they should either give us new insight or be more accessible than the original. I’m not sure if this book did that. It is dense with characters and flowery writing, which to me is just like the original myths. That’s not to say that this is not well done, it’s just that others have done it better. Atwood’s The Penelopiad, Barker’s The Silence of the Girls or Haynes A Thousand Ships are better feminist retellings of these myths. The characters here are pretty narrowly portrayed and just don’t have the richness of other stories in this world.
Thanks to Redhook Books and Libro.FM for advanced access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
If you’ve read the Odyssey, what’s your favorite trial that Odysseus faces?