Helen of Troy
By Margaret George
Why this book?
Margaret George is a preeminent writer of historical fiction—big, authoritative novels focusing on remarkable, famous people, as her 2006 Helen of Troy demonstrates. She covers Helen’s life from girlhood through the Trojan War and back to Sparta. She builds a full depiction of ancient Greek life, which always makes me happy, but George is most compelling with her characters. George’s interpretations often break with tradition, and that is true for Helen and Paris. Helen disdains her extraordinary beauty and must grow into visionary insights and outsized passions with guidance from the gods. If you want a genuinely heroic Paris (not his usual wimpiness) and a couple who cleave to each other to the end, this is the Helen book for you. George’s skill holds your attention through it all.
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