A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

February 1, 2021 (by Leah)

If you enjoyed Circe or A Song of Achilles, then you’ll love this creative retelling of the story of the Trojan War. The book opens with Homer (we presume) asking Calliope, the muse who presides over eloquence and epic poetry to ‘Sing Muse’ and so she begins to weave her tale. But Calliope is tired of hearing about the antics and so called heroism of men told over and over again by other men so she tells the story from the women’s point of view. The book gives a voice to a cast of characters we know by name but not much else... the goddesses who begin the war, the Trojan women after the city has been taken, Penelope, waiting at home for Odysseus, and many more. Each chapter jumps to another voice and another timeframe in a way you might tell a story., answering questions and filling in background info. Penelope, was one of the voices that stood out to me - while she is still portrayed as a loving wife who desperately wants her husband to come home, the reader also comes to know that she is as sharp witted as her husband and has the same skeptical thoughts any woman might have when her husband comes home much later than expected with a story that just keeps getting more and more outlandish.