In Circe, Madeline Miller takes a character from Greek mythology and adds her own spin on it. It feels like a modern take on an old tale and Miller does a great job of expanding upon the Greek mythology we have heard time and time again.
Circe, the daughter of Helios, the god of sun and one of the most powerful Titans, tries to find meaning in her life. we follow her on this journey as she lives in isolation on a remote Island. It is turbulent at times and peaceful when those storms have passed. She may be a god and cannot die but we get to see her vulnerable and growth, something that Gods do not do. Circe may be a God but you will forget that as she lives on a remote island which has a lot of visitors for an island in the middle of the sea.
The stories of Greek mythology are captivating and we will see many renditions of them. This may be one of the best ones out there. We have heard of Circe turning men to pigs but now we may have one reason to speculate why she did that.
I do think this book has some flaws but they are short. The pacing of the book is interesting and confusing. Some moments I would read without realizing what time it was and other times I was easily able to put it down. Some parts of the story lack direction but that may be the point. Gods live forever and Circe has to pass the time on her island by herself. She doesn’t have goals as humans so I see the point but as a reader, if nothing is happening, then why continue reading?
Even with those criticisms, I believe this novel is still worth reading. It has stayed with me mostly because of Miller’s ability to tell a wonderful story. Gods live forever and forever is a long time. We experience and feel some of her eternity and how much of a burden it is.
Miller does a great job of writing a story that isn’t linear even though we follow Circe’s life for hundreds of years. You will get to hear all about the great heroes in Greek mythology and more so if are a fan, this should definitely satisfy you.