Two weeks ago I didn’t know anything substantive about Greek mythology. If you had asked me about Achilles, I would have told you that something strange was going on with his heel. To be honest, I didn’t think I was interested in the subject. But when I saw tons of videos on TikTok on Madeline Miller’s first novel in 2012, The Song of Achilles ($ 17), rather than dismiss it for lack of interest, I immediately purchased a copy. Why? Because every TikTok video said how heartbreaking and sad the book is, and I, a Pisces, love reading sad stuff that makes me cry more than any other type of book.
Dear reader, Madeline Miller BOOK. It’s been more than a week since I read the last page of this novel which reinvents the tale of Achilles and Patroclus of Homer The Iliad like a love story, and I could still cry on command just thinking about it. There’s a reason Miller won multiple awards for this great story around the time of its publication, and its resurgence thanks to BookTok is well justified. So if you are looking for a book that will ruin you, let me tell you a bit about The Song of Achilles.
âI could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet hit the ground. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.
Be prepared to fully embrace this story and want to read it in as few sessions as possible. It’s okay if, like me, you don’t have any prior knowledge of Greek mythology – you’ll learn everything you need to know along the way. Just grab the tissues and get ready to feel deeply.
Where you should read it
Snuggled up on your sofa, wrapped in blankets and without any distractions. Know that you will cry at the end and plan accordingly.
Read this if you like. . .
Deeply moving love stories, war stories, Greek mythology, The Iliad, novels that reinvent other stories, books that will make you cry.
POPSUGAR reading challenge invitee (s)
This novel can tick multiple prompts of the POPSUGAR 2021 reading challenge; just choose the one that suits you best.
- A book that won the Women’s Prize For Fiction (winner 2012)
- A set of books somewhere you would like to visit in 2021 (Greece)
- A dark academic book
- A book that everyone seems to have read but you
How long does it take to read
At 369 pages, this book took me about six and six and a half hours to read in a few days. It’s a book you could probably devour in a few long sessions, but parts of which you can read a bit slower because of all the names, places, and events to remember along the way.
Give this book to. . .
Literally anyone who takes it, reads it, and tells you about it afterwards.
The summary of the ideal place
The Song of Achilles reinvents the story of Homer’s Achilles and Patroclus The Iliad. It follows the couple from childhood to the onset of the Trojan War and throughout its 10-year span, as their initial bond and deep connection grows and flourishes over time. It’s a heartbreaking love story that will make you feel deep, openly cry, and want to share it with all of your friends immediately.
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