What's your favourite myth retelling?
I love this myth renaissance we're living in + was very keen to read #TheSilenceOfTheGirls
after hearing generally amazing things.
I will preface my thoughts with the fact that I finished Silence of the Girls in 1 day, so I obviously enjoyed it somewhat! I was fully on-board at the beginning, when Briseis really drills home how different her take on Achilles is to those that view him as a great warrior who is quick + strong + a great guy (#ladsladslads)
. I found Barker's writing quite visceral + she portrays the brutality of war + the effect on women *very* well. I did however feel the women in this were a bit too passive - Briseis starts quite bold I thought, but she loses that quality throughout. Maybe this is a comment on war? I also really liked the circularity of the narrative + how the book ends.
This was sold to me as a feminist retelling, so I was expecting it all to be from Briseis' perspective. When halfway through we get some of the chapters told from the perspective of Achilles, I was a bit puzzled - this wasn't what I was here for! My main problem with this was that I've read Achilles' perspective in #SongofAchilles
+ so seeing it done again + enjoying it less wrong-footed me a bit. I guess it's to show the humanity of everyone involved, but in the parts told from Achilles' point of view, I was just reminded so much of my enjoyment of SOA that I wanted to pick that up + read that again instead!
Overall, Silence of the Girls was a very mixed bag for me. I get what it was trying to do, but in the end it didn't quite accomplish it for me. If you've read it, I would love to hear what you thought!