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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This gripping retelling of the Trojan war from the perspective of the women did not disappoint. With an extensive cast of characters from both sides of the war, this book creates a unique portrait of the horrors brought about by a war waged for sketchy reasons. From the viewpoint of those who would not have had much choice, one can conclude, as with most wars, there were no real winners. And maybe the scant emphasis on the myth of the Trojan horse and Helen’s role helps illustrate this.

For all its darkness, there are touches of humor and sarcasm throughout, including Penelope’s sarcastic commentary (via letters to her husband) of her take on the bards’ songs about Odysseus’s post-war ten-year tour of the region’s most notable and dangerous places. I immensely enjoyed the entertaining spin on the Odyssey from the wife’s perspective, which helped balance the brutal violence brought to life throughout.

Photo by Angela Davis © 2023