The Women of Troy: No country for women

Pat Barker’s sequel continues her vivid reimagining of Greek mythology

With apologies to booksellers everywhere, there are advantages to reading Pat Barker’s new novel on an e-reader. A retelling of the aftermath of the fall of Troy from a feminist perspective, The Women of Troy has a populous cast largely made up of characters from Greek mythology. Reading on a Kindle means you can press a name and get a short synopsis of a character’s background and (undoubtedly messy) family tree. This proves helpful in the early chapters, in which we we meet numerous characters at once.

Barker doesn’t just have to get the balance right between source material and fiction: she is also working within the parameters of a sequel. The Women of Troy follows her prize-winning and bestselling novel The Silence of the Girls, which told the story of Briseis, the forgotten woman at the heart of one of the most famous of war epics, Homer’s Iliad. 

The Irish Times
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