So I finally got around to reading The Women of Troy by Pat Barker and omg it was just sensational. I actually had an eARC through NetGalley, so thank you to the publisher for that, but when I saw a signed edition in Blackwells I just had to buy it so I know also own the stunning hardback.
Let’s get into the review shall we?
Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors – all they need is a good wind to lift their sails. But the wind has vanished, the seas becalmed by vengeful gods, and so the warriors remain in limbo – camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, kept company by the women they stole from it.
The women of Troy.
Helen – poor Helen. All that beauty, all that grace – and she was just a mouldy old bone for feral dogs to fight over.
Cassandra, who has learned not to be too attached to her own prophecies. They have only ever been believed when she can get a man to deliver them.
Stubborn Amina, with her gaze still fixed on the ruined towers of Troy, determined to avenge the slaughter of her king.
Hecuba, howling and clawing her cheeks on the silent shore, as if she could make her cries heard in the gloomy halls of Hades. As if she could wake the dead.
And Briseis, carrying her future in her womb: the unborn child of the dead hero Achilles. Once again caught up in the disputes of violent men. Once again faced with the chance to shape history.
Masterful and enduringly resonant, ambitious and intimate, The Women of Troy continues Pat Barker’s extraordinary retelling of one of our greatest classical myths, following on from the critically acclaimed The Silence of the Girls.
ESCAPE score: 54
I adored The Silence of the Girls so much and returning to Pat Barker’s retelling of the events at Troy was just so enjoyable.
It was brilliant being back in the mind of Briseis as she dealt with the events of the last book and help the women who had arrived in the Greek camp deal with the change in their status. It was brilliant to see Andromache, Hecuba and Cassandra placed in a different light. Plus, in this book, we got to see inside the mind of Phyrrus (Achilles’ son) and learn who he dealt with the events of the sacking of Troy and the legacy of having a father like Achilles. And of course, we also saw the famed Greek kings such as Odysseus and Agamemnon, and Nestor. They were all so well written and deep and I loved how it was the women that took centre stage in this book as it is them that so often get neglected.
The plot was brilliantly written. It was interesting to see the stories of the women being the main stories, something helped by Briseis being the main narrative voice. I loved watching the women deal with the sack of Troy and everything that was going on, like babies and marriages and having masters. Of course, the problems that the women had to deal with intersected with the narrative points from the story that was well known and that were also really cool to see. And I liked that it ended with all the women leaving Troy as it really felt like it was the end of the story.
And the writing was jsut incredible. I absolutely adored the writing in this book, especially how the women were handled because it highlighted them so well. This book was just incredible and I loved it so much.
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