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November 7, 2023

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What is the “The Penelopiad”?

“The Penelopiad” is a novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It is a retelling of the Greek myth of Odysseus and his wife Penelope from her point of view. The novel is narrated by Penelope, who is in the Underworld after her death. She tells her story to the reader, describing her life as a young girl in Sparta, her marriage to Odysseus, and her life on the island of Ithaca while her husband was away at war. Penelope also gives voice to the twelve maids who were hanged by her husband upon his return to Ithaca. In the original myth, these maids were considered disloyal and unfaithful, but in “The Penelopiad”, Penelope presents a different interpretation of their actions and the consequences they faced. Throughout the novel, Penelope explores themes of gender, power, and storytelling. She reflects on the limited agency she had as a woman in ancient Greece, the ways in which her story has been distorted and appropriated by others, and the importance of telling one’s own story. “The Penelopiad” is a thoughtful and imaginative retelling of a classic myth, giving voice to a female character who has traditionally been overshadowed by her heroic husband. Atwood’s prose […] read more
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‘It ends with us’ written by Colleen Hoover

‘It ends with us’ written by Colleen Hoover is a riveting romance novel that follows Lily bloom as she naively falls in love with neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid only to end up in the perpetual cycle of domestic violence that her mother faced. This book delves into ending generational cycles and the perils of falling love with alleged ‘mister perfect.’ From an outer perspective Ryle is mister perfect- successful career, charismatic, beguiling and a romantic. Ryles’ nice guy curtain is pulled back when the novel foreshadows his abusive nature and lack of anger management as he “kicks a chair repeatedly ” pg 6, the night they meet. However, Lily’s naivety still caused her to fall in love with this seemingly perfect neurosurgeon. After their ‘honeymoon’ period, their relationship quickly turned south as Ryles anger and envy culminated in hurting Lily. It becomes crystallized in the text the deep emotional purgatory this causes Lily as she rationalizes that “it really was an accident”  pg.188 . However, Lily genuinely believes that his apologies, peppering of kisses and empty promises mean that it could never happen again. Unfortunately, this was not the case and it only caused more sexual and domestic violence. But, after […] read more
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