A review by beauvisseau
The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker

dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


One word: breathtaking. This retelling of a story as old as time was done so well, you can almost taste the love that the author has for Greek and Trojan mythology. The writing style was impeccable, and I can clearly see all of the conscious choices that the author made regarding things like speaking style, active versus  passive speaking styles and the investment in certain themes. 

Although the main character, Briseis, does not have a highly developed character, I feel that it fits with her state of being. The grief of losing her loved ones but also one's self can turn you into a shell of memories and thoughts.
One point of criticism though, is that I would have liked to see more perspectives of different women there. It is a missed opportunity to switch between Briseis, Patroclus and Achilles, when two of those three narratives have already been explored for centuries but so many narratives are missing.

Amazing work of fiction that truly expands upon the existing narratives and opened my eyes to many new ideas about war, feminism, story-telling, slavery and power. Would recommend to anyone.

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