Circe review

There’s a timelessness to ancient texts such as the Odyssey and Greek mythology, with the themes and lessons in them still being stimulating even today. Icarus who flies too close to the sun, Odysseus who has to resist temptations, the gift of fire from Prometheus. And Madeline Miller gives a modern spin to this bundle of stories with Circe, and addresses the theme of mortality and what to do you the time you’re given. Perhaps it’s even more about finding yourself, even if it takes a thousand years.

Circe absorbed me, it pulled me back into the world of Greek mythology, back to names of Gods and heroes I had learned about two decades ago. It’s doesn’t just work well on the grand scale of wars and islands and six-headed dragons, but also on intricate emotions. Air made tangible, emotions put into words. My main grip would be that even though Circe starts and ends strong, a huge part of the middle feels like a sequence of short stories, which lowers the pace.

But it’s well worth a read and use it to reflect on your own, short, life.

“The fragility of mortals bred kindness and good grace.”