Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

“When I was born, the word for what I was did not exist.”

Circe (pronounced K-ee-r-ke) is a woman. She is a lover. She is a witch. She is an outcast. She is a destroyer. She is a survivor. I have had a hard time deciding on how to introducing Circe to you. I initially thought I’d introduce her as a lesser God or as Helios’ daughter, but both seemed derogatory to her character in most ways. None of her strong vital characteristics allowed me to introduce her to you as anyone but herself.

Madeline Miller has done a fabulous job of knitting together the chronicles of Circe’s life and I can without a speck of doubt say that she might be one of the best author’s of our time today. In life we have all grown up to feel out of place at some point or the other and eventually come to accept it, but Circe has always felt out of place – neither in the house of Gods nor in the world of mortals.

Circe is a reminder to all women today that you should be the heroine of your own life, if you find a man who accepts you for who you are then surely allow him into your life otherwise remind yourself that you are enough .

“I had no altar, but I didn’t need one: anywhere I was became my temple.”

It is sends out a message that your body is your temple. Love, respect and take care of your body because it endures all that you put it through.

I have finished reading this book at a time when we as women are feeling scared instead of angry because of the horrid incident which occurred in Hyderabad. But this book is a simple reminder of how powerful we are. It is an assertion that we are more than our fears. It is a reminder that we do not stop what we need to do, we do not give into our fears AND most importantly that we help ourselves, we help each other if no one else does.

Circe enlightens the fact that we all have weaknesses and flaws, but those are exactly what make us who we are – that is exactly what brings strength to her character. We pity a Circe who is naïve – who longs to be loved and accepted. We stay by her side as she is betrayed and even banished. We hold her as she mothers a child. We cheer the loudest for her when she finally speaks up for herself against Helios and finds acceptance.

If you feel the need to be reminded of your strengths, I highly recommend you pick up this book. It’s a Greek epic which keeps you captivated with the character; in fact you root for Circe at every point of the way. I placed Circe back in the bookshelf feeling stronger and I am sure you all can relate to what a brilliant feeling that is when you’ve been mostly feeling scared.

Circe was shortlisted for The Women’s Prize for fiction 2019 and I am glad I ticked it off my TBR List before the end of the year. I rate Circe 5/5 also keeping in mind how absolutely stunning the book cover is.

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