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CIRCE by Madeline Miller

This book is a spellbinding journey through Greek mythology, weaving a captivating tale around the life of the titular character, Circe.

It was given to me last weekend at our EEM Level 3 class and I've finished it already!

I have to say I found the first few pages 'heavy going' - I couldn't really get into it at all, but a friend was also reading it and insisted it would gain momentum and come alive if I persevered.

How right she was - I loved it, so much so I'm just about to start her other novel: The Song of Achilles.

Madeline breathes new life into the ancient myths, offering a fresh perspective on familiar stories.

There is something in the complex emotional threads that will touch you as Circe navigates her path through 'eternity'. For me it was the loneliness of exile - not that I've ever been exiled - but I could feel it through the words, along with the grief of losing her cherished mortal companions over the centuries .... that happens when one is immortal!

Circe evolves from a naïve and overlooked nymph into a formidable and resilient witch. She defies conventions of both the gods and mortals and discovers her own path, facing challenges, learning to survive and building wisdom, experiencing love, loneliness, deep grief, fear and joy along the way. She dedicates herself to learning about the plants and herbs and their healing powers, experiments with spells, surrounds herself with animals - today we'd call her an animal loving herbalist.

The writing paints vivid landscapes of the ancient Greek world and brings a facet of Circe alive that may not have been considered before. She transports you to a realm where myth and reality intertwine seamlessly.

I found it storytelling at it's mesmerising best. I was spellbound by Circe the witch!

So if you are looking for a great read to transport you away from everyday cares, this is one to try .... just remember: stick with it during the first few pages!

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