Sarah Ames-Foley's Reviews > Circe

Circe by Madeline Miller
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really liked it
bookshelves: womens-prize-2019, adult, fantasy, historical-fiction, retellings

3.5 ⭐️
This review can also be found on my blog.

Circe had already been on my TBR since I really liked The Song of Achilles, but I had seen lukewarm praise by friends and decided not to prioritize it. Its place on the Women’s Prize longlist is what skyrocketed it to the top of my list. I can see to some extent why it’s so well-loved: Madeline Miller manages to create a feminist retelling of Circe’s place in history. Miller’s prose is lovely, as expected, and it’s quite an easy read.

I had no right to claim him, I knew it. But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips towards yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.

Unfortunately, I just found there to be something missing. With The Song of Achilles, Miller really managed to tug at the heartstrings in a way that I didn’t experience again in Circe. Part of this may have been due to the length of the story, which takes place over thousands of years and which necessitates large gaps in time. It’s difficult for me to pinpoint anything else, though. There’s nothing I can point to as causing my neutrality, I just… wasn’t quite as invested in the story as I would’ve liked.

I did not care. I thought: give me the blade. Some things are worth spilling blood for.

Overall, though, Circe is a worthwhile read. Miller is a great writer and I don’t regret picking this up. It seems by and large to satisfy audiences, so I’m definitely in the minority with my rating.
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Reading Progress

March 3, 2019 – Shelved
March 3, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
March 6, 2019 – Shelved as: womens-prize-2019
March 20, 2019 – Started Reading
March 23, 2019 –
page 57
March 24, 2019 –
page 153
March 25, 2019 –
page 206
March 29, 2019 –
page 238
March 30, 2019 –
page 336
March 31, 2019 – Finished Reading
April 4, 2019 – Shelved as: adult
April 4, 2019 – Shelved as: fantasy
April 4, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
April 4, 2019 – Shelved as: retellings

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