Like Penelope at her loom North both weaves and unweaves, teasing out the threads of Homeric myth to recombine them into something unique, wonderful and urgently contemporary
Full of cunning and intrigue
North goes from strength to strength
A gorgeous, emotive feminist retelling of the classic Greek myth of Penelope
Richly poetic . . . This is an impassioned plea for the lost, disenfranchised queens of ancient Greece, a love letter to the silenced women of history
Told in the arresting voice of the goddess Hera . . . Ithaca conjures up a world in which women, abandoned by their men, must weave their own destinies
The book shines and is clearly written for the women, telling the stories the poets won't. These characters are given depth; they are entertainingly and deeply flawed, ultimately grappling with their own place in a patriarchal society . . . North has penned a beautiful character study, offering a nuanced take on feminism, power dynamics and the identity of mothers. The groundwork laid for the sequels leaves relationships to be repaired and characters to face further growth. We are given a closing montage in Ithaca for the future to come in what is sure to be an insightful, original and assumption-cutting series
North's novels are always complex and intricately weaved, and Ithaca is no exception. Narrated by Hera, it immerses you in Penelope's story and the wider tales of other women, both goddesses and slaves, as well as Penelope's son and her suitors . . . This fascinating and multi-layered novel won't disappoint.
I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. As an added bonus, I've also just discovered some wondrous news; a sequel called House of Odysseus is set to follow. This won't be the last we see of Penelope. How very splendid. I cannot wait for more
Claire North brings a powerful, fresh and unflinching voice to ancient myth - darkly fascinating, raw and breathtaking'
North's talent shines out
An original and even dazzling writer
This is a story as entertaining as it is thought-provoking, as witty as it is intelligent. If you're going to delve into Greek retellings, let it absolutely be this one
The queen of the gods narrates a crackling tale of secrets and intrigue... this is a ground-up view of Greek myth populated by spying maids, crafty merchants, and conniving queens. It's taut, suspenseful, and full of Hera's delightfully dyspeptic attitude. A thoroughly enjoyable exploration of Penelope's side of the ancient story
Everything I've wanted in a retelling: a vibrant cast, full of suspense, told with a phenomenal narrative voice - this is an absolute masterpiece
There is something fateful about The Songs of Penelope trilogy: that this voice would come to this story, a pairing so perfect it was worth waiting a few thousand years for. North's writing is evocative, vibrant and delightfully witty - capable of rending your heart in two or clutching at your sides with only a few words from a scathing and surprisingly ardent godly-narrator.
Ithaca introduces the many, many characters beautifully and really lays the groundwork for an enjoyable and poignant series
Claire North has set a new standard for Ancient Greek retellings. Absolutely sublime