Clytemnestra by Costanza Gasati
CLYTEMNESTRA – WHEN 465 PAGES ISN’T ENOUGH
Sigh. What a time to be alive. 13 years ago when @madeline.e.miller captured my very soul with The Song of Achilles, classical retellings were few & far between. There has been a huge resurgence in the last five years, with a number of titles focusing on the women behind the legends, endlessly suffering at the hands of capricious gods and violent men. I am here for every single one.
With so many books being published in this genre, Clytemnestra needed to do a lot to stand out & honestly it surpassed my expectations. I loved it, I would have read another 400 odd pages.
Clytemnestra is one of those footnoted characters in the myth of Troy, the wife of King Agamemnon who is left behind in Mycenae for the decade of battle. @costanzacasati brings her & the world around her to life in moments, the constant challenges & horrific struggles she faced and overcame.
A princess of Sparta, sister to the famed beauty Helen, she is moulded into a fierce warrior. Married with a child to a man she loves, her fate twists with the arrival of the brothers of Atreus, a cursed house, who will do literally anything to achieve their desires.
The pace in this book is exceptionally fast because there is just so much of her life to cover, & the prose assists by being sharp, setting the scene in mere sentences. Her rage is palpable and I loved the juxtaposition of differences between Clytemnestra, Helen and their mother used in tandem to bring a depth to these characters.
Published last month and a top five UK bestseller, with arguably one of the most beautiful covers of the year, this was pure fire. You watch as the unthinkable happens, and Clytemnestra just perseveres, becoming a warrior queen in a time when all women are the property of others, regardless of wealth or status.
With a satisfying resolution, I was cheering her on, the tension was built so well. Regardless of the fact I knew what was to come, I couldn’t wait to read these characters go through it, which in my mind is a sign of a hugely talented writer. LOVED. C
Ad:PR Copy of book reviewed, thank you to my ride or dies at @michaeljbooks