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Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
“That is one thing gods and mortals share. When we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.”
If I could only describe Circe by Madeline Miller with one word, it would be Mesmerizing. A novel that tells the life story of Circe, the daughter of Helios—one of the mightiest Titans in Greek mythology—and the goddess of magic. The life of Circe is both beautiful and tragic and one that had me completely enchanted that I have no clue why it took me so long to pick it up in the first place.
I absolutely loved the lyrical prose that Miller brings to the table. From the beginning we are instantly aware of just how different Circe is from her other family members and how because of her differences—how she is treated. The way Miller describes the emotions and moments in this novel is nothing short of excellence. There is a moment in Circe’s life that I believe everyone can connect too. From young love, to betrayal, all the way to motherhood and finally finding a love that knows no bounds. Miller created an intricate and complex character that is relatable from every page turn. Because this story is an account of her life, we get to see every aspect of Circe growing up and learning things not only about herself but about humans she was fascinated with and those she has called family for all her life. Miller weaves Circe’s story in such a way that gives it’s readers a deep sense of what the true take away is from this novel: that though there may be storms in life, there are always moments of sunshine in-between.
“I would look at him and feel a love so sharp it seemed my flesh lay open. I made a list of all the things I would do for him. Scald off my skin. Tear out my eyes. Walk my feet to bones, if only he would be happy and well.”
Though I am not a mother, this book’s depiction of a mother-offspring relationship (in this case mother-son) was so well created and developed that I never knew I needed to witness that until I read this novel. I FELT every emotion Circe went through as she would kill, steal, and lie if only to keep her son alive. The raw intensity alone, is five star inducing. If I ever have kids, Circe would be someone that I would look up to, as her love for her son was breathtaking.
I honestly don’t know what else to say that could even justify this story. Circe is a beautiful and powerful story that I hope every one in their life gets a chance to read. I tip my hat to you Madeline Miller.
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