The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker – Audio Book Review

This is a story of women in war. Throughout time, women have been victims of war; kidnapped, raped, destroyed. This story is from the perspective of Briseis, the queen of a city the Greeks took around the time of the battle of Troy. She is the trophy of Achilles, now a slave and concubine. She has no say in her place in the world, and she despairs. Her place is tenuous, controlled by men.

There are several things that I loved about this. Briseis is quietly observant, and so it is a different perspective on some of these great, mythological characters that so much has been written about. The pacing is slow but constant, and the urgency of battle is present, but slightly distant to Briseis’ existence – while still managing to be extremely central. I listened to this as an audiobook and loved the tone of Kristin Atherton. I’m now very keen to re-learn some of the mythology, and keep this perspective in the back of my mind.

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