Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've been reading a bunch of feminist-leaning novels with retellings of myths for a while now and while some are absolutely gorgeous, most are frankly just okay.
I honestly thought I'd be MORE into a full novelization of these personages because I love fiction so much, but then, here comes Natalie Haynes to prove to me once and for all that I'm WRONG. It's not that I wanted long, drawn-out novelizations. It's that I wanted SMART, PERCEPTIVE, fantastically researched myths put into modern perspective.
And not only that, written in such a way that I could read it forever, never get tired, and run across passages that make me point at the book and go, "OMG! YES! I can't believe she made that connection with *insert modern retelling, popular culture icon*!"
No. No spoilers here, but the tv-show/comics rhymes with Ruffy.
Every page in this book was a delight. And no, it's not rabid feminism at all. All credit is given where due and it doesn't try to distort facts or ignore men even while it is absolutely a non-fiction devoted to women in Greek Myths. It isn't a fantastical retelling. It's giving context and giving the Greeks the appropriate amount of consideration they deserve. After all, Euripedes was a man who wrote women in such a compelling way that it still shocks and amazes us even today.
Different cultures, different standards, sure, but the reality of the times and the complexity and the lack of anything black-and-white about women's roles, voices, OR how men portrayed them, is truly fascinating. Absolutely nothing is clear cut and it's delicious.
This book really lays it out for us in all its wonderful complexity.
I PREFER this book over almost all the other fictionalized retellings we've had. The subtlety is apparent here -- where I thought it should have been in the novelizations.
I'm so happy right now. :)
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