The women of Troy A novel

Pat Barker, 1943-

Book - 2021

"Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war--including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean; it does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to... fester. Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles's slave, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam's aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path to revenge."--Jacket flap.

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FICTION/Barker Pat
1 / 2 copies available
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1st Floor FICTION/Barker Pat Due Oct 21, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Historical fiction
Mythological fiction
Published
New York : Doubleday [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
284 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780385546690
0385546696
Main Author
Pat Barker, 1943- (author)
Other Authors
Homer (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Barker's sequel to The Silence of the Girls (2018) continues the story of Queen Briseis, given as a war prize to Achilles. After Achilles' death, the pregnant Briseis' marriage to his comrade Alcimus offers a modicum of security and status as a wife, rather than a powerless slave and concubine. Through Briseis' eyes, readers experience the aftermath of the fall of Troy. What should be a triumphant victory sours as Priam's body is left unburied and the gods send unfavorable winds to prevent the Greeks from leaving for home. Briseis is an engaging character, both pragmatic and perceptive, providing keen insight into monsters such as Pyrrhus, as well as the women of Troy. Also brought to life are Hecuba, old, ill, and revenge-crazed; traumatized Andromache; Cassandra, cursed by the gods with prophecies no one believes; and beautiful Helen, right back where she began, in Menelaus' bed, while the entire world loathes her. Briseis' story doesn't end with the last page; Barker seems set to pick up her absorbing narrative in a future volume as the Greeks finally set sail for home. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The winds have stilled, stranding the victorious Greek army outside the ruined walls of Troy, and captive Briseis—formerly the mistress of Achilles—sees an opportunity for revenge. Among those she persuades to join her are soothsayer Calchas and Hecuba, the aging queen of defeated King Priam. The latest from the author of the Booker Prize-winning "Regeneration Trilogy." Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Barker's masterly continuation of her fiercely feminist take on Homer's Iliad (after The Silence of the Girls), the Greeks drag their wooden horse into Troy and achieve victory after a 10-year siege, but a freak storm prevents their ships from returning home. As time drags on, Briseis, the heroine of the previous installment, struggles to survive as an enemy noncombatant prisoner in the siege camp. A former queen of a Trojan ally, she was kidnapped by Achilles as his prize of honor and turned into his sex slave. But now Achilles is dead and Briseis is pregnant. Handed down to Lord Alcimus as his wife, she spends her days, as soldiers play football with a human head, commiserating with the other Trojan women—Hecuba, Cassandra, Andromache and, of course, Helen, the cause of the war. Briseis shares narrative duties with Pyrrhus, the bloodthirsty son of Achilles, and Calchas, a canny priest of Troy. In a novel filled with names from legend, Briseis stands tall as a heroine: brave, smart and loyal. The author makes strategic use of anachronistic language ("living in the real world," "keep a low profile") to illuminate characters living at the dawn of myth. Barker's latest is a wonder. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Assoc. (Aug.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Held captive by the victorious Greeks, one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles slave, forges alliances when she can with Priam’s aged wife, the defiant Hecuba and the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path to revenge.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war--including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean; it does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester. Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles's slave, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam's aged wife, the defiant Hecuba, and withthe disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path to revenge."--Jacket flap.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A daring and timely feminist retelling of The Iliad from the perspective of the women of Troy who endured it—an extraordinary follow up to The Silence of the Girls from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Regeneration Trilogy and “one of contemporary literature’s most thoughtful and compelling writers" (The Washington Post).Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war—including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean.It does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester.Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles's slave, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam's aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path to revenge.