Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

August 1, 2021 (by Leah)

Here are some things that I’m a sucker for in a book:

  • Pretty Cover ✅
  • Underdog characters you can’t help rooting for ✅
  • References to classical mythology sprinkled throughout ✅

Olympus Texas delivers on all accounts. I loved this family drama, full of memorable characters and an explosive storyline. Taking place in a small town In Texas, you may be reminded of the 80s nighttime soap opera Dallas, with all the family dysfunction, infidelity, secrets and passion. But Stacey Swann draws her inspiration from an older source… the classic mythology stories of Ovid and Homer. I delighted in her modern adaptation of the escapades of the famous inhabitants of Mount Olympus. Like all good Greek tragedies, these characters seem fated to making bad decisions that lead to heartache, jealousy and vengeance.

At the center of the story are Peter (Jupiter) and June (Juno). Their son, March (Mars), is coming back home to repair the rift he caused in his family after having an affair with his brother Hap’s (Hephaestus) wife Vera (Venus). Peter’s many infidelities have resulted in other children as well… most notable, twins Artie (Artemis) and Arlo (Apollo). Aside from the names, however, there are many clever and less obvious nods to the Gods that I really enjoyed uncovering… Hap’s limp, June’s peacock, Arlo’s obsession with Laurel.