Feminist retellings: Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes

#PandorasJar #NetGalley

I read, enjoyed and recommended Ms. Haynes’s earlier book, A Thousand Ships. The novel told the story of the Trojan War from the women’s perspective. The author’s new book is a retelling of the stories of many women of Greek myth and legend. Included are Pandora, Jocasta, Helen, Medusa, The Amazons, Clytemnestra, Eurydice, Phaedra, Medea and Penelope. The end of the book includes a section of further reading and resources.

This book may be read straight through or readers may want to dip into sections of particular interest. Each woman receives a generous chapter with an illustration.Having read the Metamorphoses for a class this term, I went first to the section on Eurydice. I learned so much that I had not known, as for example more on the antecedents of the story. Ms. Haynes includes the tale, resources, commentary and all in a very readable, and at times humorous, fashion.

I recommend this book to teens and adults who are interested in ancient Greece. I am sure that it is a title to which I will return many times.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Perennial and Paperbacks for this title. All opinions are my own.

From the Publisher

A Thousand Ships author
Margaret Atwood quote
Mark Haddon quote
A Thousand Ships cover
Pandora's Jar cover

Review

“Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of . . . but read on!”  — Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale

“A hugely enjoyable and witty book, which will appeal to admirers of novels such as Madeline Miller’s Circe, Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, and Haynes’s own fiction.”  — The Guardian

“Natalie Haynes is both a witty and an erudite guide. She wears her extensive learning lightly and deftly drags the Classics into the modern world. I loved it.”  — Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life

“Impassioned and informed . . . When Haynes gets down to retelling the stories . . . and teasing out their distortions and elisions, the book flies.” — Sunday Times (UK)

Author: joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

I love to read, recommend books and open the world of reading to others. I tutor to ensure that the next generation of readers will know the joys of a good book because their reading skills have improved. I am an avid reader, especially of mysteries and fiction. I believe that two of the world's greatest inventions were the public library and eyeglasses!

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