Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Blurb from Goodreads

The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, which continues to wage bloody war over a stolen woman—Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman—Briseis—watches and waits for the war’s outcome. She was the queen of one of Troy’s neighboring kingdoms, until Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles’s concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army.

When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and coolly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position, able to observe the two men driving the Greek army in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate not only of Briseis’s people but also of the ancient world at large.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war—the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead—all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis’s perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker’s latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives—and it is nothing short of magnificent.

Why I Want To Read It

Happy Monday everyone! A new week has started! I hope you doing well, in body, mind, and spirit. I hope you were able to rest well and find balance this weekend. I also hope that you started this new week with flying colors, in full throttle. But if the first day of the week has been unkind to you, I hope that things will start looking up in the coming days. I hope that the rest of the week will be a good one. Things are starting to look up. The COVID19 situation in the Philippines has become manageable. I hope we get to sustain this and that we don’t get complacent once again. I hope the government and the people have both learned lessons from the earlier surges. These are small rays of light but they still provide hope in these dark times. Despite the bleakness that has hovered above us these past two years, hope still springs eternal. I can’t wait for this pandemic to end.

With Mondays comes a new Goodreads Monday update. Like most of you, Monday is my least favorite day of the week. However, the new week comes with it an opportunity to share books that are part or have become part of my perpetually growing reading list. My Goodreads Want To Read list is still continuing to grow as I encounter books that pique my interest. As International Women’s Day is celebrated in March, I have been featuring works by female writers in my past Goodreads Monday updates. For this week, I am featuring a writer who is unfamiliar to me, Pat Barker, with her novel The Silence of the Girls.

The Silence of the Girls is the first book to Barker’s Women of Troy duology (as of now). I actually obtained a copy of the sequel, The Women of Troy, before finally deciding to buy the first book. Several wonderful reviews of The Women of Troy convinced me to read the book, not realizing that it was the second book. It was supposed to be a part of my 2021 Reading Catch-up challenge but since I am a man of order (at times), I have decided to start with the first book. Actually, the first Barker novel I acquired was her Booker Prize-winning book, The Ghost Road. Omo. I just learned that The Ghost Road was the third book of a trilogy. I guess that will also have to wait. Unless someone can confirm that I can read The Ghost Road without prejudice to the first two books in the trilogy?

Apart from delving into the works of a new-to-me writer, one of the reasons why I wanted to read the duology was because I love Greek mythology. I also love retellings of classic Greek mythology stories, like I did with Madeline Miller’s Circe and The Song of Achilles. Coincidentally, Briseis was part of the latter and it would be interesting to read about Barker’s exploration of her story. There are a lot of things I look forward to in Barker’s works and I am excited to immerse myself in them. How about you fellow reader? What book written by a female author are you looking forward to? I hope you could share it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday, and as always, happy reading!