Book Review: The Penelopiad

Ashley Abbott
Bookworm

“we are the maids
the ones you killed
the ones you failed

we danced in air
our bare feet twitched
it was not fair”

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

4 out of 5 stars

First, this was a very quick read. Second, if you’re a big fan of Odysseus this will not be a book for you!

In ture Atwood fashion she’s honed in on the sexism, manipulation and disregard of the female characters in the Odyssey, specifically Penelope and the 12 young maids Odysseus has killed when he finally returns home from his 20 year adventure.

I found the way this book flows to be unique - chapters alternate between Penelope’s first person point of view and the 12 maids represented by different writing styles (poetry, interviews, even court case transcripts.) Penelope is also in the underworld so she’s able to give the full story, including her history, reasons behind actions and the truths behind the outcomes -

“Now that I am dead, I know everything.”

Great book to read after Circe.