Book review: "Circe"

Ashley
Bookworm

What a beautiful experience of a read. Greek mythology was one of my earliest fascinations as a child and starting this book was like a happy dose of nostalgia. I even broke out my favorite childhood book to revisit the story in D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths (pictured.)

Circe by Madeline Miller

What I loved:

  • Miller creates a wonderful story arc, I found myself totally enthralled with the ups and downs of Circe’s immortal life and all the storylines that cycle throughout.

“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.”

  • The personalities of the characters rang true - the choices they make, attitudes they have, words they express. Even though this story is interwoven tales of mythology, the characters took on a feel of reality. There is no good v evil - every character has the good and the bad in them, many making bad decision based on hopeful intentions.

“That is one thing gods and mortals share. When we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.”

  • Stories often miss the mark writing from the viewpoint of a god/immortal, especially when it comes to how they view time, but that was not the case in Circe. Miller did an exceptional job showing the interworking of an immortals mind through several different major and minor Greek gods. She perfectly created a world where time exists for some and not for others.

“I thought once that gods are the opposite of death, but I see now they are more dead than anything, for they are unchanging, and can hold nothing in their hands.”

  • The conclusion of this book, was to me, very satisfying.

“It is a common saying that women are delicate creatures, flowers, eggs, anything that may be crushed in a moment's carelessness. If I had ever believed it, I no longer did.”
― Madeline Miller, Circe

If you like Greek mythology and/or stories like the Odyssey and the Iliad - you’ll easily fall deep into Circe.