Author: Adèle Geras
Publication: 2008 by Random House/Listening Library
Format: Audiobook narrated by Miriam Margolyes
Told from the point of view of the women of Troy, portrays the last weeks of the Trojan War, when women are sick of tending the wounded, men are tired of fighting, and bored gods and goddesses find ways to stir things up.
What I Thought About It . . .
This book served the craving I have for reading books about the Trojan War. I noticed it at the bookstore beside another title called Ithaka (which I just picked up from the library on my way home this afternoon), but due to my resolution to avoid purchasing new books that will add to my TBR pile I decided to employ the availability of my local library. I liked the book, and I liked the narrator. She did an excellent job of altering her voice for the different characters and giving life to her narration.
The story focuses on the two sisters, and the people in their lives for the most part. The bond of sisters is always interesting to read, but I don’t know that I liked seeing them get torn apart for the sake of a man, a mere boy in truth. I confess that I would have rather seen things turn out differently in the tangled web of hoped-for relationships. I rather hoped that Alastor would have gotten his throat cut in the upheaval following the Greeks making their way into Troy. Yes, I did not like him at all. He can’t even find the strength to move around on his own and yet he possesses enough strength to have sexual intercourse with Marpessa? But I did find amusement in the method he resorted to in order to survive the carnage when the city was sacked. As expected though in such a turbulent time, not everything wraps up nicely in the end as a neat little package. I think perhaps that I like that best about it. Although you’d almost expect there to be more tragedy… Yet there is hope born from the ashes on the horizon beyond the smoking ruins of a fallen city.
However, the chapters that I looked forward to the most were the ones that involved the Gossips, a trio of old women who have nothing better to do than… well, gossip. However, you hear about other things not mentioned elsewhere, such as how Odysseus was forced to come with the Greeks to Troy.
Still I wonder what the point of the gods speaking to mortals if they forget all about it the moment they turn their head or the god disappears? It was pretty easy to predict what god had appeared even before they introduced themself. But I think my favorite appearance came from Hades. Much like Homer’s The Iliad the gods are very much active in this telling! Aphrodite seems to hinder more than help things, or am I wrong?
It’s not the best telling of the Trojan War, but it’s a good addition for the young adult crowd.