The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

The Penelopiad (Canongate Myths)The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this after Song of Achilles, and though Penelope’s story didn’t capture my fascination in the same way Achille’s did (I’m an insufferable romantic and Madeline Miller had me from the get go), Margaret Atwood has certainly brought Penelope to life for me. This book is part of a series of Myths recast and retold for the modern audience, and I’m keen to read the others now.

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3 thoughts on “The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

  1. What I really liked about this book was that it made me notice Penelope properly. Now when I read The Odyssey to the students in my class, I stop at the bit where the suitors start bossing her around, and ask the kids what they think *I* would do if my husband tried to tell me what to do….

    We have a rich discussion about what it must have been like for Penelope to have Odysseus telling her to remarry, the suitors heavying her, and her own wishes at odds with both of them for different reasons.

    BTW If you are ever looking for a great version to read to your brood, this is it:
    My students are loving it.

  2. Hi Lisa, that book looks really good! Interesting because I had picked up a copy of a penguin classic title of the same story thinking it would be a great one to read aloud, but a brief scan through the pages told me it wouldn’t have appealed to the kids much I don’t think.

    And yes I love it when stories are recast in a way that the spotlight is on the women’s perspective and the unique circumstances of her time – reminds me of the “Book of Rachael” by Leslie Cannold which you put in front of me last year… and what a fabulous fabulous book that was.

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