The unmistakable signs of summer are here with temperatures rising and tourists coming in droves. The question on every book lover's lips is, “What book should I read this summer?”
As someone who doesn’t read the traditional, fluffy summer novels but still enjoys books with a good story that aren’t too dark, I am usually left with a conundrum. Luckily for me, this year I found “Circe” by Madeline Miller.
It’s an excellent story you can get lost in for the summer that isn’t about a cheesy, quick-burn romance with a happily-ever-after that comes despite all odds (that you were still expecting because it comes with the genre). Obviously, more power to you if you enjoy that type of stuff; it’s just not for me.
“Circe,” on the other hand, is a Greek myth retelling that recounts the life of the nymph Circe as she lives out her exile on the island Aiaia. Circe is the daughter of Helios, the sun god, but she is lacking in his immense powers because her mother is a nymph.
Circe lives out her younger years feeling inferior to everyone in her family until she discovers her ability to use magic – something even the great gods on Olympus fear. Because of her unrepentant attitude towards her use of magic, she is exiled to an island where she will live out eternity without the possibility of leaving.
Luckily, the stipulations of her exile fail to mention that others cannot visit her island. Much of the book is tales of Circe’s interactions as some of the greatest names in Greek mythology arrive on her island for various reasons, two of the biggest monoliths being Odysseus and Hermes.
Although it helps to have a background in Greek mythology, it is certainly not required to enjoy this book, as Miller does a wonderful job of introducing each character and weaving in their backstory.
I’m recommending this book to pretty much everyone, and if you don’t normally pick up books centering mythology, now is the perfect time. I could especially see this novel having appeal to older teenagers and young adults who grew up loving Rick Riordan’s various mythology retellings.
Cascade Oppitz has lived in Park Rapids since 2006. Cascade currently attends Gustavus Adolphus College and will be a junior this fall majoring in dance and English.