Circe by Madeline Miller

Rate: 5/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

For the past week I’ve been compiling my annual most anticipated book releases for the upcoming year (you can view my 2018 list here). During my search I stumbled across NPR’s comprehensive list for 2018 containing an impressive 319 books. As I’ve currently read 87 books for the year spanning many various genres, I was excited to see how many books overlapped the two lists. Needless to say I was shocked when I’d only read three books on the whole NPR list, i.e., Iron Gold, Educated, and Spinning Silver. Finding a place on the list was Miller’s Circe, which is a book that had first caught my attention earlier this year, however had fallen off my TBR list for one reason or another.

Borrowing the title immediately from the library, lest I forget it again, I very quickly became lost in Miller’s unique twist of familiar Greek myths. I’ve been a fan of Greek Mythology in general since middle school when my friend group and I devoured anything we could find on the topic. I’m probably due for a reread of Odysseus’ harrowing adventure, as it will always hold a soft spot in my nostalgic heart. Miller takes these stories I’ve heard a hundred times and ingeniously spins them in a totally novel light. The general concept reminds me of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, which adapts another familiar tale to the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West, flushing out her out beyond the confines of the one dimensional antagonist. Most of the stories Miller weaves together I already knew the general outcome, thereby affording me insight as to the fate of the characters involved. Toward the end, my foresight expired, leaving me in the dark regarding the direction the story was headed, resulting in an extreme state of suspense as to what would happen next. Overall, Circe was a highly detailed, fantastic reimagining that connects many famous Greek epics and myths spread throughout the ages. I’m excited to see what story will spring up next from Miller’s unique imagination.


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