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Book review: Madeline Miller’s “Circe”

I’ve been waiting for this for so long you would not believe!

In case you guys didn’t know, I love Madeline Miller’s “The Song of Achilles“. I finished reading it during a cremation and I have a sneaking suspicion that people thought I was crying for the dead but I literally was crying at the part where Patroclus had to witness Achilles’ death.

At the time, I honestly didn’t know if Miller was ever going to follow that up with another work, and for the most part I had been happy that she had at least that one novel in her. So imagine my surprise when I saw a copy of “Circe” on the shelves of National Bookstore! I freaked out a bit about it on Twitter.

Of course, a seven year wait doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Add to that the fact that the sophomore slump is a real thing. Then add to that the fact that I had really high hopes for this novel, and you may have a recipe for disaster. Will “Circe” be as luminous as “The Song of Achilles”? Or will it fail to achieve immortality?

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Book review: Madeline Miller’s “The Song of Achilles”

The book is more impressive than the trailer, trust me.

When it comes to publishing debuts, language professor Madeline Miller has certainly had it better than most.

After working on her debut novel, “The Song of Achilles” for 10 years, Miller finally found her book published late last year by HarperCollins.Not only that, her novel was met with almost universal acclaim. Man Booker Prize finalist Emma Donoghue named her the spiritual kin of beloved historical novelist Mary Renault, while The Guardian praised her prose as “more poetic than almost any translation of Homer.”

Early this year, Miller was awarded the Orange Prize, a £30,000 prize that recognizes English language fiction written by women.

While there may not have been as much fanfare when it made its modest debut in local bookstores — sightings are few and far between — a look at this young adult novel set in the time of the mythical Trojan War certainly proves that all the lavish praise has certainly been deserved.

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