ClassicThe Silence Of The Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence Of The Girls by Pat Barker


I call this book my floodgate because it literally opened up an entire world to me. Recommended by the wonder that is @debratammerafter I posted on Facebook in need of some reading inspiration, I wasn’t entirely sure I would enjoy it. But. Oh. My. Actual. DAYS. This book changed so much for me. Before I read it, I had *the* most basic knowledge of Greek mythology — if any at all. But the point is, I most definitely did not need to know my Achilles from my Agamemnon because Pat Barker’s book is just the most exceptional, absorbing and empowering story — that of the Trojan War told from the perspective of Briseis, the woman awarded to Achilles after the sacking of Lyrnessus. By putting Briseis at the centre of this novel — when she barely speaks in The Iliad itself — Barker gives us a feminist retelling of that most ancient of epics and it is one that I am sure you’ll devour. This is always one of the first books I suggest to friends who are looking for a recommendation. For me, not only is it a standout triumph in and of itself, but it also completely opened my mind and sparked a real interest in Greek mythology — all of the books that you see in this photo were ones I read directly because of The Silence of the Girls (yup, that includes The Iliad itself). It took me to new places, it expanded my knowledge and changed the way I think. Shortlisted for the 2019 @womensprize and a triumph on so many levels, an absolute favourite of Chaya’s in this genre. I think it is the perfect way to close a week of celebrating women writers.

~ Sophie

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