I am a huge fan of Margaret George. Her historical fiction books are amazing. I've previously read the ones she wrote about Cleopatra, Mary Queen of Scots, Henry the VIII, and Mary Magdalene and I wholeheartedly give them 5 stars. So I was super excited to read "Helen of Troy" by George recently.
Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
"A lush, seductive novel of the legendary beauty whose face launched a thousand ships
Daughter of a god, wife of a king, prize of antiquity's bloodiest war, Helen of Troy has inspired artists for millennia. Now, Margaret George, the highly acclaimed bestselling historical novelist, has turned her intelligent, perceptive eye to the myth that is Helen of Troy.
Margaret George breathes new life into the great Homeric tale by having Helen narrate her own story. Through her eyes and in her voice, we experience the young Helen's discovery of her divine origin and her terrifying beauty. While hardly more than a girl, Helen married the remote Spartan king Menelaus and bore him a daughter. By the age of twenty, the world's most beautiful woman was resigned to a passionless marriage until she encountered the handsome Trojan prince Paris. And once the lovers flee to Troy, war, murder, and tragedy become inevitable.
In Helen of Troy, Margaret George has captured a timeless legend in a mesmerizing tale of a woman whose life was destined to create strife and destroy civilizations."
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): It was decent. 3 out of 5 stars.
In my opinion, this book is not as good as the other ones that I have read, but it was still decent.
What I liked about the book:
I love the imagery that Margaret George uses when describing Troy, Greece, etc. You really feel like you are there. I also liked how Helen was portrayed as far as her struggle with her looks and her relationships with other people. She was always waiting for someone to see the real her, behind her beauty.
I also admire Margaret George for writing the book at all because, unlike her other books, this one was about a mythological person, and there's no proof that she ever really existed. I mean, think about it - for other historical fiction books, you would assume an author can rely on historical documents, journals, letters, etc. But for someone who is a part of Greek mythology, well, I'm sure that proved difficult.
What I didn't like about the book:
I didn't like how Helen treated her daughter. Her love story with Paris is all romantic and everything, but it was almost like her daughter was an afterthought. Being fulfilled by love is amazing, don't get me wrong, but as a mom, it really ticked me off.
The book was also pretty long. I felt like the story took forever to get to the point.
- "To insult someone is an easy task. To rise above the insult, not so easy. We remember it far longer than we remember praise. That is just the way we are made."
- "We like to imagine that only those who do not know us would wish us ill... An enemy disguised as a friend is the deadliest of all."
- "And so we seek for that one person who can love us as we all long to be loved."
What have you read lately?