The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
Can You Be Innocent With Blood On Your Hands!
There are many tales of Odysseus, ruler of Ithaca, who left his home to fight in the Trojan War, and than proceed to wander the seas a further ten or more years before returning home. We all know the stories of monsters fought, goddess bedded and treasures won, but what of his family at home. What of his young wife and newly born son?
This is the story of Penelope, Princes of Sparta, Queen of Ithaca and young woman, forced to take on the responsibilities of a man, without the respect and title.
Penelope was a virtuous wife, and also a cunning woman, but everyone makes mistakes. Although she was able to save herself from the greedy and selfish suitors come to take her husbands place, she was unable to save those she loved and the innocent blood spilt still stains her conscience.
Twelve young maids were hung, strung up by their necks, there little feet dancing in the air. They were Penelope's most beloved maid, she raised them herself and they shared her strictest confidence. They trusted Penelope; she was their mistress, their friend. But Penelope failed them; they were raped by her suitors and killed by her husband. How could Penelope have let this happen?
Any lover of myths or anyone who has ever taken in interest in mythology, or history, or tales of heroes and war should read this book; as should any woman. This is a hunting and absorbing story that shines new light on an old tale. The Penelopiad is a book that cannot be left unread.
Price (AU): $23.95
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Mythic
Re-read it: probably
Star rating: four out of five