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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  890 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Many years have passed since the end of the Trojan War, and Penelope is still waiting for her husband, Odysseus, to return home. The city of Ithaka is overrun with uncouth suitors from the surrounding islands who are vying to win Penelope's hand in marriage, thereby gaining control of the land. When a naked, half-drowned man washes up on the beach, everything changes. . ....more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 6th 2005)
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Krista Stevens
Loved this (until I hated it) perspective of Homer's "The Odyssey" one of my all time favorite books. This book tells the story of what happened at Odysseus' home for the twenty years he was away, first fighting in the Trojan War and then his ten-year long odyssey home. We see Telemachus growing up with two servants who are close to the family and many of the events in The Odyssey are woven into this story to great affect. We see Argos dream doggy dreams, Penelope struggle to cope with the incre...more
Emily Mcelveen
This is now one of my favorite books. It has a large focus on what happens in Ithaka while Odysseus is traveling back home. You get to know what all of the suitors are like much more than in anything I have read before. It also focuses on the relationship between Klymene and Ikarios, who are twins that have lived with their grandmother, Nana, who was also Odysseus' nurse. The biggest part of the plot is when Melantho comes into play in the beggining of the story. Telemachus ends up falling in lo...more
Anne Osterlund
The women of the Ithaka are waiting.
The goddess, Athene, waiting in the form of an owl, outside the queen’s window.
The queen, Penelope, waiting, weaving, and unweaving the shroud she has pledged to complete before choosing a new suitor to replace her husband.
And Klymene, the servant girl who has grown up in a palace overrun with the queen’s would-be suitors--all lurking like vultures seeking a kingdom they cannot claim.

Because these women stand in their way.

Adele Geras’s Ithaka is the tale of Th...more
The mystery surrounding the epic wait and loyalty of Ithaca's famed Queen Penelope is ripe with story possibility, so I am not surprised that Adele Geras chose to explore it. The myth of the Odyssey contains very little about what is happening back in Ithaca, and I like thinking about what could be going through the mind of a woman left for twenty years to rule a kingdom and raise a child all with very little contact (and then none at all) with her husband. Is it right to expect her to be dutifu...more
I cherished this book. Everything you could possibly want in one book; adventure, drama, chaos, war, bloodshed, sex, passion gods, goddesses and love. It has the classic spin of an ancient greek myth with gods and goddesses, written in a story format that made it much easier and enjoyable to read.
A wonderful take on "The Odyssey."
J. Else
I enjoyed this book much more than "Troy" by Geras. I like the way this book is constructed. As the island of Ithaka waits for Odysseus to return, snippets of Odysseus' journey are woven in as excellent transitions in time. I like how the characters remember the gods visiting them or telling them something. In "Troy," the visits were almost always forgotten which made them seem pointless. The storyline of this book built up to a satisfying and bittersweet ending. The characters' stories develop...more
Ithaka turns our attention to the story of Penelope. The wife that Odysseus left behind when he led the Greek army in the Trojan war. It is thirteen years since Odysseus first set sail for Troy and Penelope is still waiting for her husband to return. She waits and her loyalty unwavering. She would wait forever for her beloved husband to return. Unfortunately, not everyone believes as Penelope does, that Odysseus will return to Ithaka. When the Queen dies, Penelope finds herself ruler of the isla...more
This book was good, except I didn't like parts of it for the same reasons that I didn't like Troy (the other book by this author) but I liked this book for the same reasons I liked Troy. I'm a total nerd about Greek mythology so that whole aspect was pretty interesting, and while the plot was obvious and predictable(Odysseus leaves his wife to fight in the Trojan War, doesn't come back for thirteen years while Penelope [said wife:] has to remain faithful to him otherwise he'll die... and of cour...more
Laura Sims
The Trojan War has been over for years now and still there’s no sign of Odysseus. The city is overrun with suitors attempting to win Penelope’s hand in marriage. Klymene, a young girl who is like a daughter to Penelope, tells the story of the kingdom without a king.

One of the things The Odyssey does not offer is an explanation of what was happening in Itkaha. We, of course, were told of Telemachus’ adventure and of the suitors. However, we don’t get to know how the city was dealing with the suit...more
ok i remember reading this book in high school about 3-4 years ago? i was really into greek mythology and still am so i picked this one up from the library. while it wasn't extraordinary i did enjoy it somewhat. Telemachus and Melantho got on my nerves but other than that it was pretty good. I know some people complained it didn't entirely follow the original story but some elements were changed for the better IMO.i think there should have been more development for Klymene since shes so annoying...more
I have read and loved ‘The Odyssey’ and I have read and loved Margaret Atwood's brilliant adaptation of the myth in 'The Penelopiad', both of which are fantastic pieces of literature. Unfortunately, ‘Ithaka’ feels very much like the poor relation: it lacks the poetry and beauty of the original and the wit and courage of Atwood’s version. I appreciate that this is a young adult book, but that does not excuse its clunky prose and lack of conviction in its own story.

When a writer chooses to develop...more
Danielle Morrone
When you think of a soldier coming home, you only think of what happens the moment he arrives, with his family and him hugging and crying and all that sappy stuff. Ithaka, by Adele Geras, makes you see the other part. Not only what the family goes through as they wait for the soldier to return- or not, but what happens afterward as well, after the hugs have finished. The book not only shows you how it effects the family, but how the friends and even just aquantances and coworkers are effected, i...more
Ithaka, in my opinion, was way better than Troy.
Though I love reading anything about Achilles, Hector, Helen, and all of the people involved in the Trojan war, it was nice to take it further by reading about the people who Odysseus had left behind for ten, almost twenty, years, in Ithaka. They way that Adele Geras describes the place makes me want to pack a suitcase and go on a vacation.

The plot was really great and I loved the pace.

As for the characters, I absolutely loved Penelope. She is suc...more
Not just a retelling of a well known epic story. Geras took the Oddyssey and Penelope's own story through it as a basic background and formed her own story within that was mythic in it's own scope. It was nice to see some reality come to the myth, showing what more than likely was going on during the story of a 'perfect wife' awaits her husband from war defiantly believing he is not dead.

Penelope doesn't lose her mythic quality while being written as a real woman which I think is par for the co...more
Adele Geras paints a beautiful (if slightly action-lacking) drama set on a legendary island and about legendary characters.

The story follows the characters left behind in Homer's Odyssey, as well as some of the author's own creation. She incorporates her own style, without losing the traditional spirit of what was already there.

Following this story, it felt as though you were simply observing from nearby, like a servant that everyone ignores. The perspective is highly effective for the style, bu...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

If you've ever read the epic poem THE ODYSSEY by Homer, you know that the author focuses on the thrilling journey of Odysseus. After the Trojan War has ended, Odysseus must battle witches, supernatural monsters, and even gods to gain back his lands and his faithful wife from the thieves that have kidnapped her. In the story of ITHAKA, the focus isn't on Odysseus, but on those that were left behind--first when he went off to war, and then when he fails to return...more
Lisa is Busy Nerding

in a sentence or two: faithful Penelope is waiting for Odysseus to come home after the trojan war (still waiting 16 years after...yeesh) and in the meantime, the palace is overrun by dirty, nasty, stinky, mean men who are determined to marry Penelope and become ruler of Ithaka.

i was really excited to see this title, especially after having read Troy and really liking it. i am personally intrigued by greek mythology and the stories about the trojan war, and having the ability to read them in youn...more
Ithaka was a great book, that pulled you right into the setting of ancient Greece. The book is about Klymene, a young handmaiden to Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. It has been many years since Odysseus left to fight in the Trojan War, and many believe he is not coming back. Penelope holds fast to the belief that her husband will return, even as uncouth suitors propose marriage to her and Ithaka falls into ruin. Meanwhile Klymene has fallen in love with Telemachus, her mistress's son, and must de...more
While Odysseus is away trying to return from the Trojan War, his wife Penelope and son Telemachus stay at home on the island of Ithaka with Odysseus's parents, Laertes and Antikleia, and their servants. Life is hard enough without Odysseus, but when hordes of suitors arrive and begin taking advantage of Ithaka's hospitality while waiting in hopes that Penelope will marry one of them, things become uncontrollable. This retelling is from the point of view of Klymene - a twin sister to Ikarios who...more
Shayla Smith
This book is wonderful! I loved It!

this book deals with what Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, is doing in ithaka, while her husband goes through the Odyssey. This book is mainly told through the point of view of Telemaus, Prince of Ithaka, and his two friends. They have to deal with normal teen angst while trying to keep Queen Penelope from the suiters that take over the castle.

The author is really good at writting frustratingly good plots and love triangles. This book ends better than Troy, bu...more
Books like this always leave me conflicted, I'd like to give it a 4 but I just don't think it was that good enough, it was slightly better than a 3 but I don't really like giving out half points.
I had wanted to read this for six years after I read (and fell in love with)Troy, but I was never able to find it or would forget to look. With so much time having passed I was a little hesitant and worried that it wouldn't be the same; it wasn't of course it's mostly because Troy takes place during a w...more
Read this years ago. New revisions on classic characters.
Telemachus is supreme controlling jerk who lusts for a heartless hand maiden named Melantho.
Melantho was in the Odyssey and she is certainly unlikeable. Rather being killed she gets maimed in the fight so the face that once that always ensured she got what she wanted from men will have men respond with revulsion when seeing her . Such a fitting fate for the bitch to be alone while Klymene finds happiness
Kylmene is the daughter of the serv...more
This book is excellent. It tells the story of the Odyssey,in the point of view of a handmaiden named Klymene. She is in love with Telemachus, Odysseus's son.

A major theme in this book is Penelope's loyalty to Odysseus, when she was waiting for his return home. Even when men were trying to convince her to marry them and that he was never going to come back, her loyalty remained, even after waiting for years for Odysseus to return.

The adventures of Odysseus encountering cyclops, Calypso, Skylla,...more
Aug 20, 2008 Julie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my daughter Penelope because it's cool to read your name over and over
I wish this book was around when I was 13. I was still crushing hard on all things mythology back then, I'm sure I would have loved it. As an adult? meh. It was a quick and fairly enjoyable read.

My younger self would have ignored the completely hollow characters. She would have been pissed by the liberties Adele Geras took with Homer's story, but ultimately she'd have been all swoony over this book.

Like I said, as an adult...meh. Adele Geras wrote a lush back story and I was interested in how s...more
This book is a sort of sequel to "Troy". Different characters that live in Ithaka, waiting for the King Odysseus to come home. It's been nearly 20 years and people are starting to lose hope. Most think he's dead. Penelope, his wife and queen of Ithaka, is starting to have her doubts, as well.
One day, the suitors arrive. They all have one purpose that they are willing to die for: Penelope's hand in marriage. She sees them as revolting and wants them to leave. But they are determined to stay un...more
Mar 21, 2008 Allyson rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
The second book I've read by Geras and my impression of her style remains the same - her style of writing is good but her lines?! Horrifying! It's like picking up Romeo and Juliet, expecting those beautifully posed words, and Juliet says "Oh my God! Can you, like, believe what she's, like, wearing? It's so, like, not hot!" The colloquialisms make me cringe. Her plot points are beautiful, her characters are usually well drawn (with the exception of the femme fatales, who are fairly one-dimensiona...more
This book was such a let down for me after reading the book the preceded it. Troy was amazing. I loved it. I was so excited to read this book which I was told was the sequel type thing. Um. No. Not what I expected, and it made me very, very disappointed. After reading Troy, I tried to read some of her other novels. I guess Troy was just a one-time thing for me, because this is not a novel I will be reading again.
Angelique Simonsen
young adult read but i enjoyed the simplicity of the story
B Rhys
I seriously had thoughts about throwing this book in my bag and never reading it again. I am glad I stuck with it in the end. It had that classic Greek story feel but at the same time you got insight that you normally don't get with classic Greek tales. It was from the views of those Odysseus left behind and how even someone not of the royal family can be affected but his leaving and war in general.
I was impressed after putting it down and taking a few moments and would recommend it to anyone w...more
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boring... 5 20 Sep 08, 2012 05:59PM  
  • Inside the Walls of Troy: A Novel of the Women Who Lived the Trojan War
  • Goddess of Yesterday
  • Lost in the Labyrinth
  • The Memoirs of Helen of Troy
  • King of Ithaka
  • Quicksilver
  • Penelope's Daughter
  • The Fire of Ares (Spartan Warrior, #1)
  • Tales from the Odyssey, Part 2
  • Achilles
  • Odysseus in the Serpent Maze (Young Heroes, #1)
  • Alcestis
  • Age of Bronze Volume 2: Sacrifice
  • The Last Girls of Pompeii
  • Homer's Daughter
  • The Lady in the Tower
  • Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore
  • The Great God Pan
Troy Happy Ever After: 3 book bind-up The Tower Room (Egerton Hall, #1) Watching the Roses (Egerton Hall, #2) Facing the Light

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