Circe

Beautiful retelling of ancient myths made lively by weaving of the story from the point of view of Circe herself. Best loved the first half of the book, Circe discovering her powers, blossoming into a witch, exiled to her island. Madeline Miller does a phenomenal job breathing new life into this old tale, fleshing out the scenes to make them live and flickering. Also very much appreciated the perspective of the women in the story that’s been passed on for ages, mostly shrinking their view and role, but Miller revitalizes it, injects women back into the foreground.

While in exile, Circe’s called upon to help deliver the Minotaur from her sister’s belly, befriending Daedalus and gifted a loom from him. She returns to her island, her loneliness. You know what’s coming next, and as she begins to turn shiploads of evil men into pigs, the drumbeats get closer. Finally, Odysseus arrives as the greatest love she’ll ever have, and before he finally leaves, a seed sprouts in her womb, becoming Telegonus, brother to Telemachus who’s waiting patiently with Penelope in Ithaca. Telegonus is an unruly baby, but eventually becomes tolerable and dashes off to Ithaca to meet his dad, accidentally killing him.