Happy new year readers!
The first day of the year I finished The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and I have to say, I rarely have to just sit for a few minutes and think about a book after closing it, but I had to following this one.
If you like your classics, your myths or just general great feminist literature then this is for you. It is a retelling of Homer’s The Illiad which I must confess, I have never read, but I do know the vague story and am familiar with Greek myths in general.
The first thing that strikes me about this book is the emotion, it is raw and gritty. The book does not romanticise war in the slightest, it shows it for what it is, bloody and frightening.
The second thing that I love about the book is the realness of the female characters. The majority of the female characters are slaves, however there is no attempt for them to ‘make the best of it’ or fall in love with their captors or whatever else various ‘romance’ novels in the past have told us. Some
of the women kill themselves, some cry, some go mad, some are angry, some submit and some hold onto their past lives. It’s beautiful and shows the characters as human.
On occasion keeping track of characters can be confusing, but given it’s based on The Illiad I think that is probably to be expected. Other than that, The Silence of the Girls is a stunning read, it’s not my usual genre but I am so glad I picked it up.