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Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus
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Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  90 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Young and beautiful, born to a powerful family, Jocasta is destined to become Queen of Thebes... trapped in a loveless marriage, she cannot save her firstborn child from her husband's wrath... left alone on the throne after her husband's death, she must contend with the dangerous Sphinx and contrive a plan to protect her city... charmed by a foreign prince, she does not kn ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published December 5th 2010 by Create Space (first published January 1st 2004)
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May 06, 2011 Chrissie rated it really liked it

On completion: The myth about Oedipus will, after reading this book, always mean more to me than just the twist and turns of the legend. It is strange to feel Jocasta's love for this man whom we know is her son. I think Jocasta's emotional reaction when she discovers the truth would be interesting to discuss in a group. A reader, knowing more than what Jocasta knows at certain points, is given a curious perspective; we feel both her passion and a definite disgust. We experience wit
Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside)
Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus is a terrific re-imagining of the familiar Oedipus myth, set in "the real world," so that the myth's more fantastical elements feel as if they could have happened in real, non-magical history. Authors Grossack and Underwood have taken meticulous research into ancient Greek history and blended it seamlessly with the particulars of the Oedipus story. It's an enjoyable read, fast-paced and highly accessible, with a narrative voice that's simple enough to appeal t ...more
Jun 16, 2011 Iset rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who love myth and legend
In the tradition of Mary Renault’s duology The King Must Die and The Bull From The Sea, Grossack and Underwood have decided to go down the route of taking a classic Greek myth and grounding it firmly in historical reality, and part of the interest in Jocasta when one already knows Oedipus’ story is not just from seeing how the authors have crafted the prophecy’s unravelling, but discovering how they handle and explain the fantastical elements of the myth – how could creatures like the Theban sph ...more
I admit to being mostly unfamiliar with the Oedipus myth before I read this book. My knowledge was pretty much limited to "man kills father then marries his mother". I didn't know any of the details or nuances to the story. So I can't really say whether this is an accurate retelling or portrayal of the myth. I can only really discuss this story on its own, and in that light, it was good.

I had three major issues with this book (and incest wasn't one of them).

First, I didn't much care about Joca
May 14, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Engrossing story, very well written. I read it from the original edition, then gave it to a friend, and it went out of print before I could get another copy... glad to see it's available again.
Apr 17, 2014 Terence rated it it was ok
Shelves: mythologies
Rating: Two-and-a-half stars

Jocasta falls just short of three stars for two reasons, which I’ll detail below.

First, a precis: The novel recasts the myth of Oedipus as told from the titular character’s point of view (hopefully, I shouldn’t have to recount the traditional version of the myth?). Though the authors have elected to largely abandon any supernatural elements, (view spoiler)
Belles Livres
Feb 15, 2012 Belles Livres rated it it was amazing
This book is one of those, whether you know the story or not, you will enjoy. It is one where you feel you are with the characters right away, inside the story, in their scenes. The characters are all vibrant and different: Jocasta, Creon, Laius, Oedipus, the Tiresias (three different Tiresiases!), the Sphinx, and even the various servants.

The heroine, Jocasta, is sympathetic and believable. She’s beautiful, of course, and although I have a slight prejudice against the tendency of authors to mak
Jul 22, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
I have 82 books that I have purchased from library book sales staring at me from my bookcases. The majority of them have been on the "Bestsellers" list. Many of them I am grateful to have discovered through Goodreads. I am looking forward to reading every one of them. So imagine my surprise when, after years of paying $1-$4 for books, I decided to not only pay for a book at regular price online, but I bumped the book to the front of my TBR pile! Clearly Jocasta's Gods were infuencing me. Let me ...more
Melisende d'Outremer
The book begins with Jocasta facing a crucial turning point in her life and so she recounts to us all her tale. The book begins well and culminates in the final few chapters. Not once was I tempted to put the book aside due to lack of interest - this story will hold your interest until the very end. If only I could have read it in one sitting I would have. A must read for those with an interest in the much maligned women of Greek mythology.
Feb 15, 2011 Amelie rated it it was amazing
super intense ... almost painful (but in a good way)
Apr 15, 2012 JoLene rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbt, hf, kindle, read-2012
The novel Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus is a retelling of the myth of Oedipus from the woman's point of view. I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this story, as the Oedipus myth is not one of my favorites -- partly due to the ick factor. However, this re-telling focuses on the entire live of Jocasta from her teen-age years to her death and the story makes it seem somehow plausible for the events to take place. One of the things that I really loved is that the mystical elements of the story we ...more
Julia Gallagher
Mar 27, 2012 Julia Gallagher rated it really liked it
I was fortunate enough to win the e-book version of this novel in a group giveaway at Historical Fictionistas. I got a bit behind having been down for the count with the stomach flu last week, but I was looking forward to reading this book. I was a little nervous that it would be a bit dry, and I'm happy to report that this wasn't the case. The book read fast for me, and I found myself immersed in Jocasta's world. Despite an interest in mythology, I knew little more than the basic story of Oedip ...more
Holly Weiss
Even if you don’t know the story of Oedipus in ancient Greek mythology, this take on “how it may have unfolded” rewards greatly. Jocasta, queen of Thebes is given a human side. Jocasta and her brother Creon are embroiled in political intrigue. She wants both love and the best for Thebes, struggling with the conflict the two bring. The authors take the Greek myth and demystify it. Tension and suspense drive the plot. The period detail is impressive. What appears to be a heavy subject is remarkabl ...more
Aug 25, 2011 LemonLinda rated it really liked it
Even though this book is steeped in Greek mythology, it reads much more like historical fiction than fantasy. Those who are connected to the Greek Gods are seen as humans, albeit royal humans. And the story of Oedipus is told through the eyes of Jocasta, his mother-wife and Queen of Thebes. For those who previously knew the story this becomes a most readable and reasonable explanation of their relationship and how it could have come to be. For those that do not know the mythology, read it and yo ...more
The Oedipus myth has never been one of my particular favorites; however, the authors brought it to life in such a manner that made it very believable and realistic to Greek history. I very much enjoyed the story, especially since it was told through the eyes of Jocasta which provided a refreshing and dynamic perspective to the original Oedipus story that the reader did not have in the original myth. This book is a definite must-read for anyone interested in Greek mythology.
Feb 28, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: wish-list
Greek Mythology can be tedious to read at times. However this story of Jocasta was so refreshing and the story line flowed beautifully. I didn't want the story to end. When I found out from Victoria that there would be a sequel, I was delighted! If you haven't read about Jocasta then this is the story for you. A must read!

Titus Pullo
Oct 18, 2012 Titus Pullo rated it it was amazing
High intensity. Recommended to those who thought Oedipus Rex was too awkward! Can serve as a good companion book to Sophocles. Get Jocastn's perspective, instead of Oedipus's; a novel, instead of a play; told during the night, instead of the day. Like a reflection only more accessible (and more logical) than the original. Of course, kudos to the original, too!
Faith Justice
Mar 21, 2012 Faith Justice rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
A well-written and fascinating look at the Oedipus story from Jocasta's POV. Wonderful historical detail. I particularly liked the way the authors provided realistic explanations for mythic creatures and godly interventions. The characters were of there times in attitudes and actions.
kostas  vamvoukakis
καταπληκτικη αφηγηση , μαγικη ιστορια

Disclaimer: For the sake of honesty, I picked up this book after one of the authors sent me an email. She had noticed that I placed a later book in the series on my TBR shelf and recommended reading them in order.

The concept behind this novel is interesting, and the writing is compelling. Taking the story of Oedipus, Grossack and Underwood recast it though the lenses of Jocasta, adding more depth to a woman who was known solely for her relationships.
The writing is good, and in particular, the
Aug 18, 2014 Beverly rated it it was amazing

Jocasta is a classic example of the hero(ine) with a tragic flaw. Even though she tries to step up to the plate to deal with the curves (or the boomerang) that the Fates throw at her, some sacrifices demand too much for this queen with her soft heart. Great companion book to those reading Oedipus Rex - and far more accessible and realistic, both qualities making the story more palatable to discerning readers today.
Jun 14, 2012 Shelly rated it really liked it
The majority of the story was developed well and I enjoyed picking it up to read, but I never fully felt that strongly for their relationship as husband/wife, but that may be because I already knew who Oedipus was. The author seemed to skip too many years of their life together that when it ended I just thought to myself, "okay, that's how it ends".
Sep 29, 2011 Kristine rated it liked it
I am torn on this one. I liked the concept of a myth being used for a HF story but not sure if I really cared for the character of Jocasta. She was certainly a product of her place and time which I suppose is typical in a monarchy, especially for a woman. I have not read the myth that this centers around and maybe I will. For a story it was ok for me.
An interesting viewpoint of the story of Oedipus from Jocasta, his wife/mother. They suffered the punishment of the gods for a series of events that they had no control over or awareness of. I was surprised how much I remembered from high school (thank you, Miss Minck).
Jul 29, 2013 Naomi rated it liked it
After reading this there were bits I couldn't put down but also bits I really wasn't sure off, I almost thought it was written by two different people at one point, having said that I did enjoy it overall
Alana White
Jun 15, 2012 Alana White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Books set in Thebes
I really enjoyed this book. Since I so often read historicals set in the medieval ages in England and in Renaissance Italy, this was a nice change. Nicely written, too.
Jun 20, 2011 liirogue rated it really liked it
Grossack did a good job taking the old Greek tale and turning it into an engrossing novel. Everyone knows how the story goes, but she still manages to build suspense and keep the reader's attention.
M C rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2015
Shanon rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2013
Geetali rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2012
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