My very lovely housemate gifted me Circe by Madeline Miller as a Christmas present. She knows me well! I had seen it a few times on Instagram and, as I love historical fiction, knew I wanted to read it so was thrilled when I unwrapped it! I hadn’t actually heard of Circe before (and it took me ages to realise I was saying her name wrong) but now I want to find out more about the Greek gods and goddesses.
Circe is the nymph daughter of Helios, God of sun. She is considered an outsider to her family and eventually she is banished. Using her new found witch powers she copes with uninvited guests until Odysseus finds her island.
Being set in Ancient Greek times, it was interesting to read about other gods and goddesses and famous events (the Trojan War for example). I’ve always loved history (I chose it for one of my GCSE options many years ago!) and so love fiction set in the past.
It did take two weeks to read but that’s more because of life issues than because of the book. Been feeling a bit run down so some days I didn’t have the energy to pick it up at all! The first half I sped through but the second half did take a bit longer. I think I blame tiredness on that though.
Circe is narrated in first person so you can’t help but feel sorry for her as you see everything from her point of view. At the beginning as her family are so horrible to her. Even her brother, Aeetes who you think loves and respects her, is actually just using her for his own gain. I liked how independent she was and how even though she was banished she made the best of her situation. However, just because she was a goddess, it doesn’t mean she didn’t make mistakes, and jealousy did get the better of her, using magic for her own gain backfired on her. Personally I think it was good to see her making mistakes as it made her more relatable. As relatable as a goddess can be anyway.
I really enjoyed reading this and, although it didn’t quite match up to my love of Philippa Gregory novels, I do want to read Madeline Miller’s previous book Song of Achilles. If you’re interested in history of mythology I would definitely recommend reading Circe!