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Monday, August 29, 2022

The Children of JocastaThe Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The third Haynes book in as many days has been quite as enjoyable as the first two. This one is the fictional retelling of Jocasta, the wife/mother of Oedipus, with an obvious focus on her life, choices, children, and her tragedy.

This is actually rather interesting. Maybe even more interesting than anything Oedipus had gone through, when you consider that Sophicles' original tragedy is a one-two-fourteen punch of truly shocking reveal after reveal.

Reading Hayens' treatment is fascinating and rather deeper than I would have imagined, even with knowing her fate through Homer. In fact, I might go so far as to say I can't tell which I like better between these two Greek retellings. A Thousand Ships is fascinating for its breadth and the concise nature of so many of these women's tales, but The Children of Jocasta necessarily dives deep and I have no problem admiring many of the characters. The nature of the tragedy lends itself to so many twists and the intelligence of the characters is not lessened by the cruel fates.

Suffice it to say, this one is a more straightforward and singular tale with a recognizable progression. I like it a lot. The other is edgier and made me think quite a bit more.

I like these kinds of problems.

I will be reading a lot more by her.

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