The Silence of the Girls πŸ€ Book Review


Written by Thelonia

One of this year's most anticipated historical fiction releases, The Silence of the Girls treads familiar ground from a new perspective, with a powerful literary language that explores the roles of women in men's stories, namely that of The Iliad.

The Silence of the Girls is told from the perspective of Briseis, a woman who is given to Achilles as a war prize after the sacking of her town on the outskirts of Troy. She becomes a pawn in a game of powerful and yet completely vulnerable men, who pass women around as if they were nothing but status symbols (and indeed, that is what they've become - and it's better than the alternative).

This book is beautifully written and is a very captivating read about captivity and the role of women in stories by men. I do think some of the content might be triggering in regards to violence, particularly towards women, but most of it is treated very lyrically and doesn't carry on for long (the most explicit description of gore/violence is in regards to Hector's body, but there is a sort of out-of-body description of rape).

My main gripe with this book is less of a gripe and more the sensation of constant flashbacks due to my apparently deep-rooted sense memory of reading Troy and Ithaka (also known as the reason I misspelled my own address the first few months I was at college in Ithaca) by Adèle Geras. It's a bit funny when I see everyone talk about how refreshing it is to see the Trojan war from the perspective of women when literally the books that I read when I was a teen did it (although the tone of those was arguably much less pessimistic and literary and more romantic and dramatic - which honestly I think I prefer, but your mileage may vary).

All to say, if this sounds like something you'd like, you probably will. And if you do like it, check out Troy (IT'S A GOOD BOOK). Welcome to the club, The Silence of the Girls, the water's fine (well, the water's kind of gross and full of dead guys, but hey, what are you gonna do).

The Silence of the Girls is available everywhere books are sold.

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