By Madeline Miller

I had hoped to read Circe while visiting Greece, but I got slightly delayed and ended up reading it on a train between baseball games during my first weekend back in the states. It was a delight. The syntax and diction are both easygoing in a lightly literary way—not aggressive, but tasteful and consumable, like summer beer. The story itself is very enjoyable, and the bump-ins with related myths are a fun surprise if you know your Greek mythology basics. The subject matter becomes predictably violent in the middle of the book, and I did have a bloody nightmare the night after the day I read it, but I don’t think the author describes anything poorly; in fact, I think the portrayal of experiencing and recovering from sexual assault is the best I’ve ever read, and that part of the story is told with a grace and honesty that I often yearn for in other depictions.

I took a bit of issue with the ending, which seemed trite. It is a happy ending, which I don’t think is really earned within the context of Greek myths and their leanings towards tragedy. Still, I think the book is immensely worth reading for pleasure, and I will seek out other works by Miller.