I read Circe because of two reasons. First, it was one of the winners of GoodReads awards in 2018 and second cos I was crazy about Greek Mythology after reading all the Percy Jackson books. To be honest I thought Circe would be something like Percy Jackson and boy was I wrong.
Before reading Circe, I was not aware of the character or story of Circe in Greek Mythology. I knew nothing when I started reading and I think that was a good thing.
This book was not something that taught me a lot about Greek Mythology. Instead, Circe told me the story of a strong woman. The book is about a woman and what she faces rather than being about mythology.
It shows every aspect of a woman’s life. How they are ignored and considered worthless. How their love is taken advantage of. How they are feared when they decide enough is enough and they finally take a stand. How they are punished again and again.
Circe is the story of a woman who doesn’t need anyone. And that is exactly what bothered everyone.
When I read this book years ago, I liked it but it was far from being my favourite. Over the years I kept thinking about it. The story stayed in my mind even if the words escaped. That’s what some authors manage to do – they create something that stays with the reader, that becomes a part of the reader. I may forget the words but I will always remember how it made me feel.
I will remember how it made me feel when Circe was punished to live on an island all by herself. I remember that the punishment was supposed to be harsh for Circe, but she loved the solitude. She finally found happiness on an island away from everyone else.
That made me wonder how many times we get awarded or punished and yet we experience something different than we were supposed to feel. That just makes it clear to me that no one can control what we are feeling and why. Circe got punished but she still was happy.
Living on that island changed Circe. She became stronger, fiercer and most importantly – independent. And that’s what made her so formidable. Her strength is shown when she trauma follows her on her island. The author describes a lot of dark and traumatic things without being overly descriptive. She shows how even a few words are enough to make one feel a lot of things.
In my opinion, Circe by Madeline Miller is a must-read for anyone interested in either Greek Mythology or interested in reading about struggles a woman faces no matter the era or place.