House of Odysseus

Written by Claire North
Review by Elizabeth K. Corbett

In this second installment in the Songs of Penelope series, trouble comes yet again to Ithaca’s shores. Penelope must keep her head when Orestes, the new king of Mycenae, and Elektra, his sister, appear once more. Having slain his mother, Clytemnestra, Orestes starts to lose his mind. Elektra appeals to Penelope for help, especially as a king in ancient Greece must be seen as strong. To make matters worse, King Menelaus of Sparta, their uncle, seeks the throne of Mycenae for himself. Will Penelope be able to juggle this family drama while still dealing with her relentless suitors?

House of Odysseus is a feminist retelling of the events surrounding the Trojan War. North very cleverly tells the story through the eyes of the goddess Aphrodite, and her masterful writing skills bring Aphrodite to life as she relates everything to the reader in an easy, fun, and accessible way, often referring to love and desire. North weaves an exquisite masterpiece as she writes about the women in this Bronze Age world. The characters are beautifully written, the plot is strong, and the dialogue is witty. Highly recommended, this is one of the best books I have read this year.