Author: 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.”
I’ve been a huge nerd for Greek mythology for almost half my life. My friends used to make fun of me because I read books like The Iliad and Metamorphoses for fun. When I studied abroad, I took a Myths in the Ancient World class and to this day, it remains the best class I’ve ever taken in my academic career. Not many authors can accomplish what Madeline Miller has done with Greek mythology, and when I found out she was writing a book about Circe, I was thrilled.
“Of all the mortals on the earth, there are only a few the gods will ever hear of. Consider the practicalities. By the time we learn their names, they are dead. They must be meteors indeed to catch our attention. The merely good: you are dust to us.”
While the stories of heroes have always been great, it was the heroines featured that I’m constantly fascinated by. Give me Andromeda over Perseus, Medea before Jason, Ariadne instead of Theseus. Circe is a book completely about her: while the other characters from the myths associated with her are present, this book is first and foremost about Circe and her story. We follow her journey as she discovers who she is and what she is capable of. We see all of her ups and downs, her struggles and inner turmoil, her heartache, her anger, her resolve, her love. Circe is a totally character driven book, and yet there was so much to her story that I never wanted to put the book down. Madeline Miller does an excellent job adding her own distinct twists to this Greek myth to create a story that is both genuine and unique.
“That is one thing gods and mortals share. When we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.”
The ending was absolutely perfect. It was probably one of the best endings to a book that I’ve ever read; it evoked a feeling of profound hope that made me feel a bit emotional. I’m so thankful that authors like Madeline Miller exist to bring to life the characters and stories of the ancient world that I’ve always been enamored with, and I can’t wait for whatever she writes next.