Top positive review
A wonderful read
28 May 2019
Haynes has, to quote her Calliope: “...picked up the old stories and I have shaken them until the hidden women appear in plain sight."
This is a great read. It helped (me, anyway) that from other ancillary reading I’m beginning to get a handle on the Iliad and the Odyssey. Putting women firmly at the centre of everything (and men at the periphery), Haynes really fleshes out the female characters, giving them an inner life and drive if not agency and autonomy.
Her Trojan women stoically face their destinies, though their distress is well-written (especially the Andromache chapters), Penelope provides with mounting impatience a dryly humorous third-hand retelling of Odysseus’s adventures, and the goddesses are shown up for their petty jealousies and behaviour.
I enjoyed every page, every chapter, and appreciated the non-linear and multiple focalisation and narrators.
Thank you Natalie Haynes. I feel I know you from your books, radio appearances and times I’ve seen you at a British Museum event.
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