“In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born..”
I had been hearing a lot about this book for the past year but never got around to actually reading. This year I had actively been trying to read more books that have a recurring theme on feminism and preferably have a woman as the central character. This has all been in the vein of expanding my spectrum of reading and learning more about things that are important. I enjoyed this book a lot as it covers themes of the mythology intertwined with all things that we already know and witness happening in real life.
Madeline Miller’s retelling of the story of Circe, witch of Aiaia, is simply bewitching. I love this book with my whole heart. The prose is glittering with modernity while never losing its essence which is rooted deep in the ancient. It’s an easy read with symbolic meanings and wise realisations. I grew through the pages with Circe on her journey and learned a lot about myself as well as people that surround me and my behaviour towards them.
Circe is born a goddess but she doesn’t traditionally act like one. She isn’t cruel and doesn’t have a bloated ‘godhead’ like most of her family. She is empathetic to humans and being a goddess that is not an acceptable trait to have. She is repeatedly bullied and shunned by those she holds most dear until at last when she sees them for who they truly are: Gods- selfish, egotistical and indifferent; who will never think twice before squashing you under their feet for their own gain.
Circe is the heart wrenching story of a woman who dared to stand alone in a man’s world. It is a story of self-discovery and learning who you truly are, of taking a stand for yourself. Circe is about gods but it is also about all of us.
These are some of my most favourite quotes from the book. Although there are a lot more that I would like to mention, these are the top three.
❄”Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.”
❄”I had a little pride, as I have said, and that was good. More would have been fatal.”
❄”If I had loved him, he would have been gone, yet my revulsion brought him back and back.”