Is it bad to admit that it was the cover of this book that made me want to read it? It’s true – sometimes I DO judge a book by it’s cover. When it was sent to me by the publisher and I started to skim the pages, it went right to the top of my pile and I started reading.
Penelope’s Daughter is one of my favourite books of 2010. Breathing so much life into Homer’s characters (let’s admit it, Homer isn’t easy to read…) couldn’t have been as easy task, but Laurel made it seem that way. Vivid characters and places kept me glued to the pages and even had me dreaming about them.
The book is split into three parts – Ithaca, Sparta and Ithaca. Xanthe’s life is also split into three parts. As a youngster, the daughter of Odysseus and Penelope grew up in Ithaca never knowing her father. When she becomes older, her mother, in order to save her life, sends her to Sparta to live with her cousin – the same cousin responsible for her father’s lengthy absence – Helen. She lives there for several years before it’s safe for her to once again return home to Ithaca.
At the beginning of each chapter, the author describes Xanthe in front of her loom and tells us the colour(s) she is using and that colour describes the person or place or period in her life she is actually weaving. This became one of my favourite aspects of reading the book. It gave Xanthe so much human-ness and really brought out all of her raw emotion.
I’m so glad to have had the pleasure of reading this book and thanks to Kaitlyn at Penguin for sending it to me. And, I can’t wait to read more Laurel Corona books in the future.