In a word -- Wow! Clytemnestra opens the downloadable audiobook House of Names with: "I have been acquainted with the smell of death. The sickly, sugary smell that wafted in the wind towards the rooms in this palace." I was immediately drawn into Clytemnestra's narrative. Based on the ancient Greek tale of the House of Atreus as outlined by the tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, Colm Toibin's re-imagining does not disappoint. The tension is held throughout the entire story by the three narrators: Juliet Stevenson as Clytemnestra; Charlie Anson, as her son Orestes; and Pippa Nixon
In The Book of Heaven, Patricia Storace creates the mythology of an alternate universe, but one the reader recognizes, as if through a veil, from its allusions to Greek legends and Old Testament stories. It is different from anything I’ve read and therefore hard to describe. Although the sections hinge on central themes, such as of the oppression of women and the nature of God and of love, they can be read in isolation. Each section presents the tale of a different woman, eulogized in the stars themselves in this world Storace creates. Her writing is contemplative; reading it is a meditation
This is a coming-of-age story, a love story, and a retelling of the Iliad all in one masterfully told epic. Miller at once succeeds in adding depth and substance to Achilles and Patroclus and also preserving the dramatic feel of the war that is the backdrop to their relationship.
Patroclus is awed and then befriended by Achilles, a young prince who is the opposite of Patroclus: easy in his young body, beautiful, privileged. As their friendship develops into a love affair, they are carried along by the fate that we know propels them toward a tragedy. Miller develops her characters with a