I was a Classics student at school, fighting my way through years of Latin before settling down to some good English translations in Classical Civilisation at A Level. As a child, I loved reading ancient Greek myths, and as a teenager I was engrossed by The Iliad, The Odyssey and The Aeneid.
I haven’t really looked at any of these texts in over a decade, but the infamous story of Achilles and the Trojan War came flooding back to me in this Orange Prize winning novel by Madeline Miller. However, unlike Brad Pitt’s Troy, this isn’t an epic tale of battle so much as a love story, narrated by Achilles’ lover Patroclus. It’s beautifully written, with characters drawn so clearly you can hear them breathing.
I could talk on and on, (inadequately) trying to capture or summarise all the wonderful things I loved about this book, instead I urge you to just go and read it. Then you’ll understand me when I say ‘this and this and this’.