CIRCE

North & South - - Review -

MADE­LINE MILLER (BLOOMS­BURY, $ 31.99) “There is dan­ger for a soli­tary woman in this world… and her in­de­pen­dence draws the wrath of men and gods alike.” Made­line Miller’s daz­zling retelling of the mil­len­nia-span­ning myth of Circe, the in­con­se­quen­tial na­iad who be­came a pow­er­ful sor­cer­ess and archetype of the preda­tory fe­male, is by parts po­etic thriller, lyrical ad­ven­ture story, chill­ing ro­mance and book of wis­dom. A com­pan­ion piece to the 2012 Orange Prize win­ner’s The Song of Achilles – which ex­am­ined the pres­sures of liv­ing up to the mas­cu­line ideal – Circe melds the su­per­nat­u­ral and the “tonic of or­di­nary things” into an ir­re­sistibly fresh con­coc­tion that speaks univer­sal fem­i­nine truths. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously mys­ti­cal and mod­ern, it’s a cap­ti­vat­ing and pas­sion­ate read. JENNY WHEELER

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