Synopses & Reviews
From the moment she first sees the cocky warrior Odysseus, Penelope knows that one day she will be his wife. What she doesn't know is that Odysseus's pride will take him away from her to fight the Trojan War. Penelope must become an expert at waiting, and it is this waiting that proves to be the ultimate test of her courage, patience -- and love.
The sorceress Circe has been waiting for Odysseus to land on her island so she can seduce him with her spells, just as she has countless other men. She never expects to fall in love with him, though, or that he will be the first man capable of resisting her charms.
Odysseus has always been the goddess Athena's favorite mortal, for he, like she, is famous for his wiles. As Athena guides Odysseus through his many trials, she waits with compassion and love to see if he will learn to temper his desire for fame and discover the truth of his own humanity.
Finally, his nanny, Eurycleia, has watched Odysseus grow from a mischievous child into a great hero. As she waits for her beloved master to return home, she keeps loyal watch over those he has journeyed twenty years to see again.
In this innovative retelling of Homer's Odyssey, Clemence McLaren, author of Inside the Walls of Troy, presents the story of Odysseus's epic journey through the hearts of four women who loved and waited for him.
Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, finding companionship only with her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.
Then a ship arrives bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, and Ariadne meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendshipone that could perhaps become something more.
But Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the minotaur, that monster beneath the palaceunless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadnes brother . . .
About the Author
Clemence McLaren writes:
"When I was a sixth grader, I used to read The Odyssey with a flashlight after I'd been sent to bed. I was both fascinated and frustrated when the women characters left their endless weaving to make brief, intriguing appearances in the men's hall. I always wanted to know how they felt about what was happening, but that was almost never revealed. Did Helen enjoy having the world's most beautiful face? Did Penelope blame her for launching the great war? And why did Circe keep changing men into pigs? I suppose I began retelling these stories to answer my own questions. When I became a teacher, I told my stories to my students, always embroidering on the characters' personalities.
"My fascination for Greece began with that early reading, and I grew up to live out my dreams for six years (on and off) in a tiny Greek village named Mylos, where we had a cottage between the one-room schoolhouse and the bakery.
"I now live in Hawaii, where I'm again studying the language and the legends, amazed at the parallels with Greek mythology. There's a Hawaiian Helen of Troy (named Hina), and a Polynesian equivalent to the Trojan horse (a wooden shark god, engineered to conceal enemy warriors). I'm still telling stories to my students, sharing my own passion for the classics and also teaching them to look more deeply for the silenced voices."
Clemence McLaren has also written Inside the Walls of Troy and Dance for the Land.
Table of Contents
A Girl Plots a Marriage
A Witch Takes a Lover
Pallas Athena's Story:
A Goddess Intercedes
An Old Servant Recognizes Her Master