She practises her magic in secret however she’s driven to cast a dark spell in a moment of love fuelled emotions and is discovered. Zeus is a wrathful god and he banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia, though here in her isolation she learns to hone her witchcraft and draws her strength from the nature around her. Circe’s remote island isn’t completely devoid of visitors though, during her time there she encounters many famous figures who come visiting, people like Hermes the messenger god, architect of the infamous labyrinth, Daedalus, a ship bearing the mythical Golden Fleece and of course the wily Greek hero Odysseus as he travels home from the Trojan war. Fittingly the story is something of an odyssey itself and explores family relations, love, loss and rivalry.
The Silence of the Girls
Author: Pat Barker
Sticking with the theme of ancient Greece, The Silence of the Girls is a retelling of one of history’s most well-known stories, The Iliad. This is the story of the battle of Troy but instead of telling the tale that follows the men that fought the war it concentrates on the untold story of the women at its centre. It focuses on Briseis, a queen whose city was destroyed and whose husband and brothers were murdered by none other than Achilles, the greatest warrior in all of ancient Greece. She is then given to the man as an award for his achievements in battle. She finds herself becoming a pawn in the events of men and must do her best to survive to become the master of her own life. It’s a book that explores a historic culture drenched in sexism, misogyny and oppression, with themes that are sadly more recognisable than they should be today.
My Sister, the Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Here is a book riddled with tension, intrigue and questions, My Sister, the Serial Killer is written by Oyinkan Braithwaite and makes us ask ourselves, how far would we truly go for the ones we love? Korede is a nurse from Nigeria, one night her dinner is interrupted by a call from Ayoola, her sister. It’s not the first time she’s received a distress call from her sister as of late and she knows exactly what’s needed of her. Time to don the rubber gloves, equip the bleach and brace herself for a rough night as she cleans up another dead boyfriend. Ayoola explains that it was once again in self-defence however Korede knows the truth, her sister is a murderer, not just that but a serial killer. She also knows that she should probably turn her in to the police in order to save the men of Nigeria but she still loves her sister and can’t bring herself to do it.