Nikki's Reviews > A Memory of Wind

A Memory of Wind by Rachel Swirsky
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Jun 10, 11

bookshelves: greek-roman, historical-fiction-alternatehistory, short-stories-novellas
Read on June 09, 2011

When I saw a review of this book, and found out I could download it free from Tor.com (here), I was intrigued. I love stories about Greek myth -- actually, retellings of any myth -- and especially those which bring back the lost voices of women of these stories. So I downloaded it right away. It's a short story, really, so it doesn't take very long to read, and it drew me in from the first paragraphs: the way she describes Iphigenia going toward the sacrifice, losing everything she had before, is amazing.

There was one moment at the beginning which put me off, and that was the description of Odysseus as really wanting war. If I remember rightly, in the Iliad, he actually pretends to be mad to avoid going to war, and is only pulled into it when they prove he's sane by the fact that he won't run over his son with the plow he's using.

I liked the view of Clytemnestra this offered -- the moment in the cart when Iphigenia looks at her mother's hands, knotted by arthritis. That's a really powerfully real image, to me.

The writing is poetic, evocative. I really liked it, and especially the very last paragraph, which works so well.
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