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The Women of Troy

von Pat Barker

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Reihen: Women of Troy (2)

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7201531,706 (3.99)45
Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:A daring and timely feminist retelling of The Iliad from the perspective of the women of Troy who endured it??an extraordinary follow up to The Silence of the Girls from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Regeneration Trilogy and ??one of contemporary literature??s most thoughtful and compelling writers" (The Washington Post).
Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war??including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean.
It does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester.
Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles's slave, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam's aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path
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Just like it's predecessor, The Silence of the Girls, The Women of Troy is a masterpiece: eloquent tale, impassioned manifesto - an inclusive rewriting of the history. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 22, 2023 |
Actual rating: 4.5/5

CW: this book contains mentions of war, violence (incl. sexual), death (incl. child death and murder), slavery, and misogyny.

I had really liked The Silence of the Girls when it came out, so I was looking forward to the story continuing when I heard there would be a follow-up book. Picking up shortly after the events of The Silence of the Girls, The Women of Troy recounts the aftermath of the fall of Troy - and the fate of its women.

This book is just as powerful and hard-hitting as the previous one, and in some ways even more so as the pain of the women cuts so much deeper. War is a nasty, cruel business, and behind every glorious hero lies a trail of death and destruction, innocent lives cut short and severe pain inflicted. And the women of Troy will never be able to forget this.

Briseis is back as our main narrator and, now a survivor of the camp, she takes it upon herself to ease the pain of the new arrivals, helping them in accepting their new lives as slaves and ensuring all of them survive. Meanwhile, Briseis herself struggles to navigate her new position as Alcimus's wife while carrying Achilles's son.

As with the previous book, the author does a masterful job of giving a voice to the silenced women of history, not shying away from the brutality and violence of their lives but leaning into their pain and suffering to fully show their strength, resilience and quiet resistance. The cast of women is memorable, each of them carrying her own personal burden.

Helen, despised by all and universally blamed for the war.

Hecuba, old and frail and mourning her loved ones and the loss of her life's work.

Cassandra, abused time and again and having to find ways for men to deliver her prophecies if they are to be believed.

Andromache, reeling from the loss of her husband and the brutal murder of her infant son, forced to lie with the man who killed him.

Amina, stubborn and proud and determined to homage her king one last time by burying him, whatever the consequences.

And so many, many more.

The Women of Troy hits hard yet manages to tell so much suffering in a delicate, respectful way, restoring the dignity of otherwise forgotten women. Highly recommended to anyone looking for more feminist retellings of traditional myths.

For more reviews, visit Book for Thought.

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way. ( )
  bookforthought | Nov 7, 2023 |
Zo knap het eerste deel uit deze cyclus was, zo vlak is dit tweede deel. Heel vreemd. In Silence of the Girls bracht Barker een imposante hervertelling van de Ilias van Homerus, vooral vanuit het perspectief van de gevangengenomen Trojaanse prinses Briseis. Ontluisterend en innemend tegelijk. ‘Vrouwen van Troje’ bouwt chronologisch en thematisch voort op dat eerste deel. We zien Briseis – zwanger van de inmiddels gesneuvelde Achilles – nu rondzwerven in het Griekse kamp, na de val van Troje. Ze gaat systematisch langs bij de andere Trojaanse vrouwen en op die manier schetst Barker opnieuw hun eigen, meestal ontluisterend verhaal: het is een opeenstapeling van vernederingen, niet-ingeloste verlangens en verwachtingen, maar ook van gekrenkte trots en wraakgevoelens. De Griekse prinses Helena, die de aanleiding was voor de Trojaanse oorlog, toont zich van haar meest narcistische en manipulatieve kant. Het valt op dat dit deel veel meer vrouwen bevat die het heft in eigen handen nemen, zoals de imposante Cassandra (de Trojaanse prinses met voorspellende gaven die door niemand geloofd worden) of de slavin Amina (een alternatieve Antigone). De mannelijke tegenspelers brengen het er in dit deel nog minder goed van af. Vooral de jonge Pyrrhus, de zoon van Achilles, wordt geschetst als een overmoedige puber die gekweld wordt door de schaduw van zijn vader.
Dit verhaal speelt zich af tussen de val van Troje en het vertrek van de Grieken naar huis, een lange periode waarin stormwind (veroorzaakt door de boze goden) het vertrek ophoudt. Het gebrek aan actie weegt zwaar door in deze roman, in contrast met de vorige, waardoor je voortdurend op je honger blijft. Stilistisch is het allemaal wat minder, en verhaaltechnisch laat Barker enkele opvallende hiaten vallen (zo doet ze zo goed als niks met de zwangerschap van Briseis). Hopelijk weet ze dat in het volgende deel weer recht te zetten. ( )
  bookomaniac | Feb 14, 2023 |
The fighting is over in Troy, but the Greek armies and their captive women cannot leave because the wind is blowing the wrong way. Briseis balances between the roles and lives she has as a captive and formerly enslaved woman, now a wife of a Greek, going between her husband, her former friends and witnessing the frustrating and futile in-between space between the war that ended and the futures that haven't started yet. ( )
  queen_ypolita | Jan 11, 2023 |
Pat Barker's "The Women of Troy" is a sequel to her "The Silence of the Girls", and was just as compelling a read. The earlier book focusses on the events in "The Iliad", seen from the perspective of Briseis, the captive who was the cause of the anger of Achilles. This book moves the story forward to the time after the fall of Troy. All the Trojan men have been killed, all the Trojan women have become slaves. Again, most of the story is told by Briseis, with a few parts focussed on Phyrrus, Achilles' son, and on Calchis, a priest. The story is bleak, but deeply engrossing, and the character development is gripping. For this reader, both novels capture the spirit of the Bronze Age through the eyes of women. I hope there will be more novels continuing the story. ( )
  annbury | Sep 11, 2022 |
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» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (7 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Barker, PatHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Atherton, KristinErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Young, SarahUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt

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Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:A daring and timely feminist retelling of The Iliad from the perspective of the women of Troy who endured it??an extraordinary follow up to The Silence of the Girls from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Regeneration Trilogy and ??one of contemporary literature??s most thoughtful and compelling writers" (The Washington Post).
Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war??including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean.
It does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester.
Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles's slave, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam's aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path

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