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The Memoirs of Helen of Troy

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  969 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
In this lush, compelling novel of passion and loss, Helen of Troy, a true survivor, tells the truth about her life, her lovers, and the Trojan War. This is the memoir that she has written—her legendary beauty still undimmed by age.

Gossips began whispering about Princess Helen from the moment of her birth. A daughter of the royal house of Sparta, she was not truly the proge
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Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published (first published October 4th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Jilly
Dec 30, 2011 Jilly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit to originally being very interested in this book because of the idea that Helen of Troy would tell us the tale from her perspective. One very rarely sees the story of Troy's fall from Helen's perspective. Of course, Elyot took liberties as many fiction writers do but for the most part stuck to the story portrayed in The Illiad only from Helen's perspective.

As the book starts, Helen has decided to writer her memoirs for her daughter Hermione. It is clear that Hermione doesn't care for her
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Rachel
Jun 10, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
One of the things that any seasoned lover of historical fiction knows is that the history of a tale holds just as much importance as the way the story itself is told. In Amanda Elyot’s book “The Memoirs of Helen of Troy”, we get an engaging tale right from the start. We also get a lot of history- some events we know about, and others are new to us. While this era of history is not my specialty, Elyot informs us of her research at the end, and lets us know that where there are questions on accura ...more
Jane
Oct 14, 2015 Jane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was not to my taste! Sometimes too melodramatic, sometimes saccharine and much too filled with sex scenes, badly written at that. It was too much of a departure from the Trojan War story for me. I think people would be much better off reading the original Iliad and Odyssey. Helen made herself the center of the world; self-absorbed and bragging how SHE influenced the main incidents of the war--e.g., only through her submitting to Achilles was Priam able to recover Hector's body; SHE in ...more
Cyp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim
Aug 17, 2010 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an amazing take on the motives of the Trojan War from an almost feminist perspective. The author unravels the origins of the Olympian gods, Greek myths and legends and how the men sought to undermine and demoralize women in every aspect of Greek society from religion to politics to family life. It also was a story of how love is everchanging and always brings both pain and wisdom. It was an amazing, unforgettable read. I cried for Helen and every woman who fought before me who has ...more
Jocelyn
Oct 09, 2010 Jocelyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The first half can accurately be called memoir (even in the fictional sense). The second half is another thing entirely, made of extremely boring battle scenes and play-by-play narrated by Helen. I can get 100 percent more reading pleasure from reading The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Alec
Apr 06, 2009 Alec rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Was this supposed to be ironic? A justification from a self-satisfied Helen of Troy, who bills herself as "pragmatic" while accepting herself as semi-divine and immortal, and who uses "fate" as an excuse to deny herself nothing, despite the consequences. Yuck.
Tamara
May 30, 2007 Tamara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I had absolutely nothing else to read, this book would be fine. But I have other books on my stack, and their library due date is too quickly approaching, so I didn't even bother to finish this one.
Sandie
Aug 03, 2010 Sandie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
OH....this book was infinitely A M A Z I N G. I loved, from beginning to end. I felt like I was there, inside the story, from beginning to end. Good good book.
Georgia
Dec 30, 2013 Georgia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Η ιστορία της ωραίας Ελένης μέσα από ένα άλλο πρίσμα, μέσα από τη δική της ματιά.
Joan
Apr 21, 2016 Joan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book. It cost me more than a month of reading time!
S
Jun 27, 2010 S rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sucks. Might as well read Wikipedia or Cliff Notes.
Michelle
Oct 24, 2016 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story of Helen has been around at least since Homer wrote the "Iliad". There's a reason this story has persisted for thousands of years: it's juicy, and it's about all those big issues in life like war, hate, love, and beauty. It's also a required reading for some of us in one point of our lives. As we all know, Helen's beauty caused its fair share of problems in her day. Her beautiful face did cause a war after all. But is her beauty her fault? Can we blame an entire war on just one lovely ...more
Ana
Jan 06, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it
“After all is said and done, we are what people consider us to be.”

 photo 5e70b542-b377-4230-a105-11bcbb06d875_zps581c5263.jpg

I fell in love with Greek Mythology ever since my college professor of Classical Studies spent a semester comparing passages from The Iliad with parts of the Bible. You can imagine what something like that does to an impressionable young woman brought up in a Catholic household. It was so provocative, so irreverent, almost blasphemous… I was hooked! After that semester in college, I’ve been drawn to reading all the books relat
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Tawny
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Betsy
Very similar to Margaret George's Helen of Troy, but didn't assume one knew the story ahead of time. Good for someone who didn't know the story before, because there were tons of explanations about Greek myths connected the Iliad, which were informative and fun for my inner classicist. When I read Margaret George's book, I wasn't all that familiar with the story, so I was somewhat confused.

The additions of the old earth mother religion being overtaken by the new Olympian religion made some sens
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Amy
Aug 03, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a slut for mythology and was excited by the prospect of a retelling of the Trojan War from the POV of the infamous Helen of Troy. The story worked when it came to weaving together the multiple narratives into one coherent story and the prose flows well. But I couldn't fully embrace this book because everyone was so damn unlikable. The author clearly wanted the reader to love Helen but she was so vain and arrogant, I found it impossible to give a damn about her. (Seriously, she refers to hers ...more
Jean Marie
This would have been a better read had I read it before Margaret George's Helen of Troy. Elyot's version seems to be more a cliff notes version of George's version of events while lacking the ability to make the reader either admire Helen or connect with her on an emotional level in the way George was able to do.

Aside from its length and my automatic comparison to a similar novel, this was a very solid take on the infamous Helen. It's well written, moves at a good clip and the characters are we
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Sue Myers
Historical fiction about Helen of Troy; I need to look up the historical account of her life. Before this book all I really knew was that she was "stolen" by Paris and taken to Troy and the quote, "the face that launched 1000 ships." A fairly entertaining read, although one always knows what is coming-the Trojan Horse. Helen had many children according to this book. I want to find out how she died since all through the book she described herself as a "demigod" and only Zeus who was her father co ...more
Madonna Analla
Sep 27, 2015 Madonna Analla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good book! I enjoyed it so much because all the stories I've read about the Trojan war were from the perspective of the men who were fighting it and I never heard much about Helen and how she felt about the war or what happened from her view. This was that missing piece. It gave a great perspective on what happened leading up to that famous war. It told the very human stories of love and loss and situations that people get themselves into even today and how those situations wer ...more
Sarah
Jun 19, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trojan-war
While I was pleased that Elyot chose to take a different aspect with her novel (choosing to include Hermoine's existence and several other aspects of the myth that are often left out of pop culture) I was disappointed in the overall arc of the story. Helen was a less than sympathetic character. I feel as though this book, which spanned forty years, did not flesh out the character as well as could have been in a large piece of work and/or series/trilogy.
Michaela
Nov 18, 2007 Michaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were many parts of this that were so familiar, yet it was a new read. It is the story of Helen of Troy like I have never read before. I wasn't as find of the ending as I was of most of the story. It's not that I didn't like the ending, but rather it seemed as though the author was racing to finish. It lacked the same attention to detail as the first two-thirds of the book. All in all, it was a good story.
Tori
2008- Best book I've read about Troy in quite a while. Helen is portrayed much more sympathetically than in other books I've read. The only thing I disliked was it took a while for the action to start and the ending was a bit dragged out. And a family tree would have greatly helped me keep the character's relationships straight!
Leia
Apr 02, 2013 Leia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Besides learning about Helen of Troy years ago in school, this was the first book I've ever read about her. The way that it was written made you relate to Helen and made her seem reachable. You will understand more of the woman behind the name than just see her as the cause of the famous Trojan War.
Sally
Feb 13, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always thought Helen of Troy's life would be boring (who cares about a vain beauty queen and the idiot men who warred over her - talk about giving women a bad rap), but Amanda Elyot surprised me. I really enjoyed the twists Elyot put on the story, the politics, and believe it or not - a happy ending (now that took some doing!)
electrise
Aug 12, 2015 electrise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: helen-of-troy
the sex scenes in this were so bad they made me scream. out loud. (in the house of MY MOTHER, who ran down the stairs and asked if i was okay, at which point i had to explain the whole "strawberry-tipped nipples" debacle, thanks NONE mandy elyot)
Tony L
Jan 12, 2012 Tony L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was give the book by a good friend, who also is a reader, whose opinion, I admire, so I was pleased to receive it, I found it easy to get into, and then I slowly found it, getting better, and better, and by the time I finished it , I was well into it, so a good read, ,
Kellyann
May 07, 2012 Kellyann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
a well-done walk down mythical memory lane, revisiting the Iliad and various stories associated with its characters. the first half is Helen's life up to meeting Paris and the second is the Trojan War viewed from her perspective. the perfect interweaving of a variety of myths into novel form.
Shawn
Nov 26, 2012 Shawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very imaginative and unique. A nice "alternative" look at the Trojan War legend from the point of view of the woman who was the cause of the war instead of focussing on the usual cast of characters such as Achilles, Hector, Agamemnon, Priam, Odysseus, Paris, etc.
Well written. Very enjoyable.
Carol Palmer
Jul 26, 2015 Carol Palmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read about Helen of Troy in the past month. This book is written in a first-person narrative from Helen's point of view. It was a wonderful read. For readers that are easily confused, I would suggest keeping notes as to what the various people and places are called.
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Also, Leslie Carroll

I was born and raised in New York City, attended the Fieldston School in Riverdale, and received my Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University. I began writing novels in 1998 while I was working three survival jobs simultaneously and struggling to have a career as a working actress. Over the years I slogged away in dreary day jobs in such diverse fields as politics, advertising,
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