Book Review: Circe

Circe (2018)
Madeline Miller

I decided to read this book because it was on so many top ten lists for 2018, but I confess I started it with low expectations. I have never been a huge mythology/classics fan. I liked Latin because the translating was like a puzzle, not because the stories and characters captivated me.

Well, maybe it’s all in the telling, because this book was fantastic. Miller is a skilled writer and storyteller. She brought to life all the characters and tales that I never really understood or appreciated, probably because I was so focused on translating, or by the various translations and explications (which are often dry and exacting). Her characters have dimensions, motivations, and feelings that I never tapped into before.

At the very least, this book will give you a new (and perhaps surprising) appreciation of all those Olympic and Titan deities and the mere mortals whose lives they try to manipulate. If you are already a mythology lover, you will appreciate the skill with which Miller interprets and writes about the life, loves, trials, and tribulations of Circe, an exiled sorceress, and a goddess who ultimately realizes that she may prefer life among mortals.

Review by Roberta Jordan, Outreach and Instruction Librarian

To request a copy, click here.

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