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Silence of the Girls
Silence of the Girls | Pat Barker
"This is an important, powerful, memorable book that invites us to look differently not only at The Iliad but at our own ways of telling stories about the past and the present, and at how anger and hatred play out in our societies. 'The defeated go down in history and disappear, and their stories die with them.' Barker's novel is an invitation to tell those forgotten stories, and to listen for voices silenced by history and power."--Emily Wilson, translator of The Odyssey From the Booker Prize-winning author of the Regeneration trilogy comes a monumental new masterpiece, set in the midst of literature's most famous war. Pat Barker turns her attention to the timeless legend of The Iliad, as experienced by the captured women living in the Greek camp in the final weeks of the Trojan War. The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, who continue to wage bloody war over a stolen woman--Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watches and waits for the war's outcome: Briseis. She was queen of one of Troy's neighboring kingdoms, until Achilles, Greece's greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles's concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army. When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and cooly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position to observe the two men driving the Greek forces in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate, not only of Briseis's people, but also of the ancient world at large. Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war--the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead--all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis's perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker's latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives--and it is nothing short of magnificent.
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ElisabethRose
Mehso-so

So I read this not too long after reading Song of Achilles and I think it was really interesting to see two different author's perspectives on Achilles. While Miller seems to romantise the war and write something more akin to a love story, Barker isn't afraid to show the hideousness and gory details of the war. She doesn't pull any punches on her descriptions of sickness, injuries, and general (lack) if hygiene. I loved seeing the differences.

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RowReads1
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38 likes2 stack adds
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GatheringBooks
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Pickpick

#SoaringScores Day 28: This retelling of #TheBattle of the Trojan War is told from the perspective of vanquished Queen Briseis. Thruout, it was Briseis‘ voice that surfaced, a channeling and owning of grief that is stark but never overly-dramatized nor gratuitously violent. It was very matter-of-fact, sharp, incisive, & pierces a woman‘s spirit in a way that leaves a scar. My review of this unforgettable story - https://wp.me/pDlzr-k9T

Cinfhen I LOVED this one!!! I can read Greek Mythology retellings all day/ everyday 💜 2w
CrowCAH Looks like they‘re playing Rock Paper Scissors! Lol 2w
41 likes2 comments
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jenniferw88
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Thank you @squirrelbrain for the book and bookmarks - I haven't read it yet! Expect a reply soon(ish!) #litsylove #jbuk

julesG Somehow this book reminds me of the Gladstone retreat. I'm not sure why though. Haven't read it yet, but maybe one of the ladies present had it with her. Or was it at Waterstones? @scripturient 3w
scripturient @julesG We might have talked about this because I remember I bought this in Scotland a few weeks before we went to Gladstones. BTW, can you believe it‘s been a year that we signed up for the first retreat and here the second one is fast approaching. 😁 (edited) 3w
squirrelbrain Oh I‘m glad you haven‘t read it! I hope you enjoy... @julesG @scripturient - how time flies! 3w
julesG @scripturient @squirrelbrain Looking forward to the next retreat. 3w
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Anna.VanTrapp
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Pickpick

I was completely enthralled in this book. It was like an extension of the movie TROY with Brad Pitt and Rose Byrne. The writing was incredible. I rarely gives 5 stars, but I‘m giving this five stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #BOTM

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Readergrrl
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Pickpick

I read Circe earlier this year and wasn‘t expecting this novel to be on par. I was wrong! The sack of Troy as told by the Trojan women enslaved by the Greeks...but so much more! War as experienced by women; the triangulation of greed, corruption, and honor; love, passion, rage, grief, revenge, and redemption; history through the eyes of the conquered. I will be thinking of Briseis and her sisters in war for a long time. 5/5⭐️

CoffeeCatsBooks Oh, this sounds like just my sort of book! 1mo
CoffeeCatsBooks And just realized I already have a copy of this, just with a different cover. 😂 1mo
69 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Zoes_Human
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Pickpick

This was so much better than I expected.

I was expecting a simple retelling of the Iliad from a woman's perspective. I was not expecting something so realistic and feminist. Something that speaks to the truth of war for women. Something that makes it so clear how courageous women have always been in ways that are not acknowledged as such but rather are portrayed as a sign of their weakness.

I loved it!

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Zoes_Human
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“Would you really have married the man who'd killed your brothers?

Well, first of all, I wouldn't have been given a choice. But yes, probably. Yes. I was a slave, and a slave will do anything, anything at all, to stop being a thing and become a person again.

I just don't know how you could do that.

Well, no, of course you don't. You've never been a slave.”

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Zoes_Human
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We speak so readily of the bravery of men in war, but only use the word survival in reference to the women who are their victims. Sometimes to keep living is the greatest act of courage.

BookwormM Wow very profound 2mo
Zoes_Human @BookwormM Thank you. It's very much inspired by the beginning of this book. Pat Barker makes it all so clear how very brave women were to face the consequences of war that supposedly brave men forced upon them. Even though I knew the realities of war (as much as anyone who has never experienced it can) before reading this, I have never considered it in this way until last night. I'm impressed with this novel so far. 2mo
BookwormM You convinced me stacked 👍 2mo
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Strawheart_Mila
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This book caught my eye while browsing for books to read!! Thank you #Goodwill! 😎

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HrJust
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Men carve meaning into women‘s faces, messages to other men.

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Caroline2
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OH YAY!!! 😀 Thank you sooo much @TrishB for the new books! I actually did a happy dance, I‘ve been dying to read these two. Plus it has been a real stressful few days as both boys are off school sick already!! 🤦‍♀️ so perfect timing for cheering me up! 😘 #litsypenpals

TrishB Aww- I hope the boys are on the mend now 💜 it‘s always as soon as they go back to school. Hope you enjoy the books. 2mo
Caroline2 @TrishB yeah, they‘ve not even been back a week yet!!! 🙄 can‘t wait to read the books. I think you‘re right about Atwood; I was gonna read that next but might put it on hold for a couple of weeks. 👍 2mo
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bernadette
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Pickpick

Slow start but I got more interested in Briseis and Patrocles as the story went on. The Trojan War from the POV of the women captured during the war. This focused on the dirt and blood and disease and the ugliness of the war but it did take in moments of kindness and complicated human connections.

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bernadette
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It tooke awhile to get into the story but now I can't stop.

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lost.in.a.book
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Pickpick

Just finished this beauty up on Audible. The narrator was fantastic and the book... a solid ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

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Melissa_J
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Pickpick

This novel tells the story of the Trojan War largely from the perspective of Briseis, Achilles‘ war ‘prize‘. This is not a romantic retelling, it details the harsh realities faced by women captives. My only qualm with the novel? While Briseis‘s story fills most of the pages, there are some chapters told from the perspective of Achilles. They weren‘t needed. Achilles has received enough ink throughout history. He doesn‘t need more. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

EmilyM I love this cover♥️ 2mo
Litlady Great review! I agree! 🤗🤔‼️ 2mo
TrishB Agreed 👍🏻 glad you enjoyed it. 2mo
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Cinfhen Yay!!!! You liked it!!! You really like it!!!!! I‘m going to read this one soon, have you read it 2mo
Melissa_J @Cinfhen I have not, but funnily enough I added it to my wishlist just the other day when I read that it ties into the Trojan War. 2mo
Melissa_J @Cinfhen You‘ve read Song of Achilles, I think? I also really enjoyed this one, although it‘s a chunkster 2mo
Cinfhen I loved Song of Achilles \ not sure I‘m up for a chunkster but I wrote Firebrand down for future reference 😉 I‘ll send u House of Names after I read it 😘 2mo
Melissa_J @Cinfhen thank you. You‘re so sweet 😊 2mo
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Melissa_J
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I‘m going in...

TrishB Ohhhh 😁 enjoy 🤞🏻🤞🏻 2mo
LeahBergen I may actually pull this one off my shelf soon. 😄 2mo
Cinfhen Ohhhhhhh 😲🤞🏽🤞🏽our reputation is on the line @TrishB 2mo
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Tamra It was an absorbing listen for me! 😁 2mo
TrishB @Cinfhen slightly nervous in the corner.....😱 you safe home? 2mo
Melissa_J @TrishB @Cinfhen I‘ve finished the first part, and I love it so far 😊 2mo
Melissa_J @Tamra I can see why! I‘m through the first part and unless something drastic happens this will make my list of favourites for the year. 2mo
Melissa_J @LeahBergen based on what I‘ve read so far I think you should 😊 2mo
TrishB Yay 🎉🎉 2mo
59 likes9 comments
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Melissa_J
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Today‘s #bookhaul from my visit to the local Indigo 📚

I blame the Todd purchase on @Crazeedi 😊

Meanwhile, @Cinfhen I read your comment on @TrishB ‘s review of the Barker book while I was in the bookstore, standing in the fiction section, in front of the B authors. I took it as a sign.

Cinfhen Hahahahaha!!! Litsy karma is REAL💕💕💕 3mo
Cinfhen Nice haul 😍 3mo
Tamra Enjoy!! 3mo
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Crazeedi I have big shoulders!😉 3mo
LeahBergen I just bought Lancelot for my husband (and I own The Silence of the Girls) 😄 3mo
Melissa_J @LeahBergen let me know if your husband likes it. He‘ll probably read it before I do. 3mo
TrishB Great choices 👍🏻😁 3mo
Crazeedi @Melissa_J I hope you like the series as much as I do 3mo
63 likes9 comments
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Centique
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Pickpick

Beautifully told and harrowing account of the Trojan War from the perspective of Briseis, a Trojan princess given as a slave to Achilles. The only thing that stopped this being a 5 star read for me was that I didn‘t think the chapters from Achilles perspective were as powerful - I was disappointed to move away from Briseis perspective. That‘s a small quibble though, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Aimeesue I was just listening to a BBC Open Book episode with Barker. 2015, so she was just writing this one. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b067xcy8 3mo
youneverarrived I really liked this, too. Agree about the change in perspective. 3mo
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TrishB
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this one, yes it‘s not really feminist as the girls don‘t really get any benefits or any say do they 🤷‍♀️ thoughts of what it is like to be totally powerless.
This is my first Barker, maybe I‘ll get to the Regeneration trilogy now that‘s been on my tbr forever.

Melissa_J I have an interest in this one, but am a little hesitant because I bailed on the first book of the Regeneration trilogy. 3mo
TrishB I haven‘t read any others- but this is a really easy quick read (IMO!) what didn‘t you like about Regeneration? 3mo
Melissa_J I couldn‘t get into the story at all, and I wasn‘t a fan of the writing. 3mo
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TrishB @Melissa_J I don‘t know how they compare but I‘ll bear that in mind! This would definitely be an historical novel for you! 3mo
OrangeMooseReads I liked this novel as well. 3mo
Maria514626 @TrishB The first in the Regeneration trilogy is very good. I started the second but didn‘t get far. I really didn‘t like the MC. Haven‘t tried the third. 3mo
writerlibrarian This is on my to get list. First book of the trilogy is really good. The other two are still in my TRP 3mo
CarolynM @Maria514626 I absolutely adored Regeneration. I started The Eye in the Door but found it quite confronting and it was making me feel sick. Actually, I was newly pregnant and it was morning sickness but it wan't great subject matter in that condition so I put it aside. I tried to read it several times post pregnancy, but every time I picked it up I got that sick feeling again! I don't know if I'll ever be able to break the association😂 3mo
Tamra I really liked everything about this novel. 3mo
TrishB @OrangeMooseReads 👍🏻 cool 3mo
TrishB @Maria514626 @writerlibrarian @CarolynM I‘ll give the trilogy ago eventually! 3mo
TrishB @CarolynM I have a book I was reading when rushed into hospital last year - I can‘t pick it up again now, too many horrible associations! 3mo
TrishB @Tamra I was surprised I liked it so much! 3mo
Magslhalliday Pointing out how the ‘heroic‘ manly war stories impact on women, and how little power women had, could be seen as feminist. Given a lot of people trace what a ‘good‘ society looks like back to Greek culture it shows how built in misogyny can be. Would recommend the short ‘Women and Power‘ by Mary Beard as an accompaniment. ;) (edited) 3mo
Cinfhen I thought this was a really strong retelling and I thought the writing was good @Melissa_J ♥️ 3mo
104 likes2 stack adds15 comments
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TrishB
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#lunchtimeread
Few and far between at the moment!!

Cathythoughts Lunchtime read 👍🏻♥️ 3mo
Tamra I really liked this one! 👍🏾 3mo
Caroline2 Ohhh be interesting to hear what you think of this one. 👍🏻 3mo
See All 12 Comments
TrishB @Caroline2 it‘s yours when I‘m done! 3mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts grateful when I get one! 3mo
TrishB @Tamra enjoying so far 👍🏻 3mo
Caroline2 @TrishB oh yayyy!!! 😀 thank you! 😘 3mo
emmaturi Loved this book! 3mo
TrishB @Caroline2 it‘s via @Cinfhen - spreading the Litsy love ❤️ I just have to get to the PO!! 3mo
TrishB @emmaturi it‘s so good! 3mo
Caroline2 @TrishB gotta love Litsy Love!! 💖 (but there‘s no rush obvs!) 👍🏻 3mo
TrishB @Caroline2 😘😘 a lot of work and home panicking at the moment! 3mo
117 likes3 stack adds12 comments
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Hufflepuffle
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Congrats on your Litfluence milestone @Megabooks 🥳🥳🥳 and thank you for the chance to win your giveaway!

The Silence of the Girls has been my favourite read this summer 😊

#25ETSY

Megabooks Thanks for entering!! Good luck! 🍀 3mo
25 likes1 comment
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Pricel101
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Wishing a very happy birthday 🎉🎁🎈to @KarynGood and thank you for the gift of this wonderful book:) #poutinepenpals

@StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego 🍟🇨🇦

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Happy Birthday!!! 3mo
KarynGood Thank you! And your welcome! I‘m glad your enjoying it! 3mo
34 likes2 comments
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Paus0312
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Start a new adventure!!!

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OrangeMooseReads
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Pickpick

Finished this last night. I liked this point of view of the Trojan War. The story was good and the characters were ok. The MC bothered me a bit and I‘m not 100% sure why. There was something about her.
My biggest issue was that the narrator changed randomly like in the middle of the chapter it would be a different person perspective, it would go from first to third and back and then to second. It got hard to follow at times.
Over all 👍🏼

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Hufflepuffle
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Pickpick

I don‘t know if I have the words to describe this book. It is so powerful and sad, yet I couldn‘t put it down. The other side of the heroes tale, the story that never gets told. I can only recommend you read it. I am so glad I did!

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Stacked!! love the cover! (edited) 4mo
BooknerdsLife Thanks for the review! 👍🏼 Stacked! 4mo
46 likes6 stack adds2 comments
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Hufflepuffle
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In love with my new magnetic bookmarks!! I was originally only going to get the chocolate frog but I couldn‘t resist a little ginger cat to match my fur baby!

Hoping to finish this book today 🤞🏻

sudi The bookmarks are too cute 💖 4mo
StayCurious I also have a little ginger cat named Huckleberry Finn. 4mo
Hufflepuffle @sudi I just couldn‘t resist them! 4mo
Hufflepuffle @StayCurious cute!!! My boy is called Stanley 4mo
BooknerdsLife Awww I love your chocolate frog bookmark! 😱❤️ 4mo
37 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Ardachy
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Pickpick

An interesting idea for a novel brilliantly executed, highly recommend.

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Kazzie
Pickpick

Awesome! Great perspective of ancient story

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RachelS89
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Pickpick

This is a retelling of The Iliad from the point of view of Briseis, a former queen and the war prize of Achilles.
A beautifully written but very depressing book.

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alisonrose
Panpan

Yikes, what a letdown 😕 Even tho I‘d seen a handful of disappointed reviews, I still expected to like this. Portions of it were sharp & insightful, factually strong, & the *idea* is great, but the overall execution was so off the mark. Why claim to give us a feminist retelling yet be so focused on the same old dudes? Why mention “the girls” if we get one girl & all she does is wander around a camp & suffer? Hype fail for me, sadly. 2/5 ⭐️

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Hufflepuffle
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Current book, new book and kitty footsies!

I am engrossed in The silence of the Girls, it‘s is so awful yet I can‘t help but read it and hope for better things for the main character and all the women.

The new book is The Sisters of the Winter Wood, the description sounded a bit similar to The Bear and the Nightingale which I loved so hopefully it will be good!

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alisonrose
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I‘m a liiiiittle hesitant about this one because of some things I‘ve read about the content and also the narrative change partway through, but I still want to give it a try. #nowreading

Tamra I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too. 4mo
46 likes1 stack add1 comment
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OrangeMooseReads
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Starting this one while I sit in my parent‘s garage and Man our sale. At least it‘s not raining and we have fans.

Texreader Perfect multitasking 4mo
DivineDiana Good luck! Been there. Looking back, I have fond memories! 4mo
49 likes2 comments
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MeesesPieces
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Just started and I am liking it. What did you think?

rwmg Spoiled by the hype. If I'd heard less about it before I read it, I think I would have enjoyed it more 4mo
Book_Fairy_Mary Didn't live up to the hype for me. 4mo
MeesesPieces @rwmg @Book_Fairy_Mary I haven‘t heard anything about this book so maybe I‘m good haha! I belong to the book of the month club so this was a pick months ago. Thank you! 4mo
MeesesPieces @rwmg @Book_Fairy_Mary I finished it but it was mediocre at best. Good story just depressing. 4mo
8 likes4 comments
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matilduhhhh27
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Pickpick

An interesting POV of an infamous story... could‘ve been a great discussion at Book Club, but I had Mr. Mansplain right next to me - trying to convince me that Greek women DID have voices... bc his grandmother may have had an arranged marriage, but she always had a lot of opinions 🙄 Not the same, bro, not the same. Good book though, a few triggering images, but overall a relatable commentary.

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teresareads
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this version of the Trojan War, as experienced by Briseis, enslaved as a war prize by Achilles. The book draws attention to the many on the sidelines whose feelings are left out of the great stories. The emotions throughout are deeply felt and complicated, and Briseis is allowed to have difficult and sometimes contradictory feelings.

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BookishTrish
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Saturday evening reading view

Stacypatrice Holy Yum!!! 5mo
Andrea4 Delicious! What's in that soup? 5mo
BookishTrish @Andrea4 kale, Romano beans, gf pasta, roasted lemons... 5mo
annahenke That meal looks incredible 5mo
DebinHawaii Yum! 🍲😋 5mo
73 likes5 comments
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BookishTrish
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Tamra
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this on audio - I always looked forward to getting back to it! No Greek mythology background required as it‘s a fresh look at the sacking of Troy, or really the waiting for the sacking of Troy, from the perspective of a female slave of royal background won by Achilles. The end is perhaps a little unrealistic, but its definitely a pick!

This is my first Pat Barker book, need to do some investigating!

charl08 Love her WW1 trilogy too: definitely worth seeking out. 5mo
Tamra @charl08 👍🏾 5mo
Cathythoughts I‘ve been avoiding this one , but I will take a closer look sinse this/your review 👍🏻 5mo
See All 6 Comments
Crazeedi @charl08 I'll have to check that trilogy out! Thanks for mentioning!! 5mo
Kimberlone I recommend 5mo
sprainedbrain I loved this one! 5mo
81 likes1 stack add6 comments
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BookishTrish
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Another wild and crazy Saturday night

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cmarie
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Pickpick

Cannot recommend this book enough! Brutally honest without being vulgar, fleshing out characters from myths I'd not thought about. Beautifully written, you can see the scenes playing out in front of you, read it in 2 days of commuting where more than one person got walked into because I could not put it down

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Becker
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I‘m really enjoying this, I think in part because I read The Iliad last summer and loved it. However I‘m not sure I would like it as much if I wasn‘t familiar with the Iliad. 🗡

20 likes2 stack adds
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BookishTrish
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Saturday morning

JohannaRose Is that Lisa Frank?! Oh my gosh I love it!! 5mo
BookishTrish @JohannaRose It‘s my Lisa Frank reading journal 5mo
JohannaRose @BookishTrish I absolutely love that! @SarahHarts_books Look at her Lisa Frank reading journal! How cute is that!? 😃 5mo
See All 7 Comments
SarahHarts_books Totally love your Lisa Frank reading journal!!!😍😍 5mo
SarahHarts_books @JohannaRose YASSS QUEEN!!! 😍😍💖💖 5mo
Cityofamber Love the Lisa Frank journal 😂😍 5mo
57 likes3 stack adds7 comments
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cmarie
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Been a bit quiet lately but went to Hay Festival last week, it was AMAZING.
Got to listen to the fabulous Pat Barker talk about her book and got my copy signed 😍

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AnansiGirl
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TheReadingMermaid Awesome 👍 6mo
AnansiGirl @TheReadingMermaid thank you 😊 just read your post. I was completely oblivious to events these last 4 days. Hugs to you and everyone affected by the tornado. 🤗 6mo
TheReadingMermaid Thank you so much sweetie. And from what I understand from the news articles there was like 16 that touched ground in the Dayton area and the surrounding counties. It was really bad. 6mo
Clwojick Way to go with the scavenger hunt! 💕 6mo
AnansiGirl @Clwojick thanks for cohosting the scavenger hunt! It‘s been a blast and the motivation to get out of an impending reading slump. 😄 6mo
33 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Eyejaybee
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Pickpick

This is a marvellous retelling of The Iliad from the women‘s perspective. Beautifully written, and immediately engrossing right from the first page. See my Goodreads review at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2829916615. #book #books #bookstagram #patbarker #thesilenceofthegirls #history #bookish #booknerd #bookcommunity #booklove #bookphotography #triojanwar #booksbooksbooks #theiliad #achilles #homer #ancientgreeks #agamemnon #briseis

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CaitlinR
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“”Looking back, it seemed to me I‘d been trying to escape not just from camp, but from Achille‘s story; and I failed. Because make no mistake, this was g his story—his anger, his grief, his story” p.266

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CaitlinR
Pickpick

One of the things I love about Pat Barker‘snovels is that she writes with such poignancy, and so elegantly about the human costs of war. In SILENCE OFTHE GIRLS she takes on the final days of the Trojan War given us the unhappily entwined lives of Achilles and the stolen woman: Briseis.

The “silent girls” are the women taken as slaves, some awarded to the warriors, some enslaved and discarded to fend for themselves.

Very highly recommended.

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AnneCecilie
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Just finished this and haven‘t made up my mind jet how I feel about this. This novel really demonstrates that this a man‘s world, and women doesn‘t have much value. This is the story of Achilles told though the eyes of Briseis when it‘s not told by Achilles himself. Briseis is Achilles slave.

This is shortlisted for this year‘s Women‘s Prize for Fiction.

merelybookish Beautiful cover! 6mo
Henrik_Madsen Interesting premise. Reminds me of The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, which I really enjoyed. Focus was here on Penelope and her ten maids who are summarily killed by Odysseus in the original. 6mo
Tamra @Henrik_Madsen I just finished Penelopiad and loved it - I have the tagged audio novel on hold. I‘m hoping I like it! (edited) 6mo
AnneCecilie @Henrik_Madsen @Tamra that seems like a book I should check out. I like retellings. 6mo
58 likes2 stack adds4 comments