The Penelopiad

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus - Margaret Atwood

The Penelopiad tells the story of Penelope and the twelve maidens while Odysseus was making his way home from Troy. Full disclosure here, while I am familiar with The Odyssey, I have not yet actually read it, though it is on my TBR List. I found this novella to be a very interesting, if brief, take on Penelope and the twelve maidens who met their death at the end of The Odyssey. The deaths of the twelve maidens are an afterthought in the narrative, briefly mentioned and then forgotten. The Penelopiad focuses on these twelve deaths and by doing so, highlights how horribly the maidens were treated not only in life, but in death as well. I did find that the novella was too short for me and in spots appeared to be rushed. Possibly due to the speed that the narrative unfolded, the final act with the court trial felt somewhat tacked on. Still, I found I did truly enjoy this novella and will most likely re-read it once I finally read The Odyssey, if only to compare.