Written by Adele Geras
Review by Ann Chamberlin

This stunning novel retells the Odyssey, all from the point of view of those waiting for the hero those long, lonely years in Ithaka. Circe, Scylla and Charybdis and the rest of the familiar adventures appear only briefly—go elsewhere for them—in pages of poetry relating Penelope’s dreams. Waking, the wife captures her dreams of sorceresses and monsters in the colors of the threads on her loom, which also serves to keep her man alive. And, here and there, are dog dreams, the world full of smells and sun and sleep and bones of the faithful hound. More world-bound, caring for and loving both of these waiters, is our heroine, young Klymene. With her twin brother Ikarios, she was raised with Telemachus by her grandmother, the patient nurse whose old eyes first see through the beggar’s disguise. Klymene comes of age in this world of weaving, cooking and serving the queen’s vile, groping suitors. But it is also a world where the gods appear at every turn as they dabble in the affairs of mortals: Pallas Athene’s white owl, Artemis lover of dogs, Aphrodite lover of those struck by her son’ sharp shafts, the thwarter Poseidon who stinks of fish, Ares who knows “here every blade comes to rest”–and ever-waiting Hades. (Ages 14+)