The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

From the Booker Prize-winning author of the Regeneration trilogy comes a monumental new masterpiece, set in the midst of literature's most famous war. Pat Barker turns her attention to the timeless legend of The Iliad , as experienced by the captured women living in the Greek camp in the final weeks of the Trojan War. The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, who continue to wage bloody w...


Details The Silence of the Girls

TitleThe Silence of the Girls
ISBN9780385544214
Author
Release DateSep 4th, 2018
PublisherDoubleday Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology, Retellings, Literary Fiction, War, Adult Fiction, Novels
Rating

Reviews The Silence of the Girls

  • Tammy
    1970-01-01
    Royal Briseis is presented to Achilles as a prize for sacking and destroying Lyrnessus a neighboring city of Troy. So this is a re-telling of the final few weeks of The Iliad’s Trojan War from the perspective of a “bed-slave”. While Briseis has it better than the abject slavery of many other female captives her life is, in its own way, just as brutal. The prose of Part One is bewitching but it falls apart for a few chapters within Part Two ...
  • Rachel
    1970-01-01
    It's so hard to divorce my love of the Iliad from my experience reading The Silence of the Girls, but I think that's partially what makes this such a fantastic retelling. Told primarily from the perspective of Briseis, a Trojan captive given to Achilles as a war prize, Pat Barker's novel endeavors to tell the unsung story of the female characters who litter the background of the Ancient Greek epic. And she does a pretty brilliant job.The pleasure...
  • Roman Clodia
    1970-01-01
    I've been trying to escape not just from the camp but from Achilles' story This is the best modern re-telling of the Iliad that I've read - even if it does perhaps extend too far, taking in the aftermath of war as told in Athenian tragedies: the Hekabe, and the Trojan Women especially. Told in a straightforward narrative, the majority in 1st person from Briseis with intermittent 3rd person chapters from the POV of Achilles, this is both accurate ...
  • Joseph
    1970-01-01
    The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker is a retelling of the Illiad through the eyes of Briseis. Barker was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in 1943. She was educated at the London School of Economics and has been a teacher of history and politics. She is the author of several historical fiction novels.Briseis was the mythical queen of Lyrnessus in Asian Minon at the time of the Trojan War. She finds herself trapped in the city walls as the Greeks lay si...
  • Paul Fulcher
    1970-01-01
    "'Silence becomes a woman.' Every woman I’ve ever known was brought up on that saying."Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls is a retelling of the Iliad, the story of Achilles at the siege of Troy. The epigraph to Barker's novel is what she has said in the inspiration for this book, a passage from Philip Roth's The Human Stain:"‘You know how European literature begins?’ he’d ask, after having taken the roll at the first class meeting. ‘...
  • Paula Bardell-Hedley
    1970-01-01
    “How was it possible for these high walls that had protected us all our lives to fall?” Having come straight from reading The Beekeeper of Sinjar, a collection of harrowing first-hand accounts of women taken captive by Daesh, to The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker's reimagining of the legendary Trojan War from a female perspective, it was disconcertingly effortless to step from 21st century Iraq to 13th century BCE Greece. So little, it seem...
  • Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
    1970-01-01
    Originally posted on A Frolic Through FictionThe ancient stories are always male dominated, with women’s voices being pushed aside in favour of those “heroes” instead. Although let’s be real, my idea of what defines a hero definitely isn’t the type you find in many Greek myths. So imagine my excitement when finding out this book exists, giving another perspective – the women’s perspective – of the stories I’d read and loved befo...
  • Liv (Stories For Coffee)
    1970-01-01
    ACTUAL RATING 4.5 STARSI am utterly breathless. This novel was so much more than I imagined it would be. Following the point of view of Briseis, this story tells the tale of the Trojan War from the eyes of a girl who is taken from her city and is claimed as Achilles' prize for conquering her homeland. This is what sets up the gruesome and raw tale of this explosive war that so many have read about but has never been shown through the eyes of a wo...
  • Bettie☯
    1970-01-01
    NetgalleyDescription: From the Booker Prize-winning author of Regeneration and one of our greatest contemporary writers on war comes a re-imagining of the most famous conflict in literature - the legendary Trojan War. When her city falls to the Greeks, Briseis's old life is shattered. She is transformed from queen to captive, from free woman to slave, awarded to the god-like warrior Achilles as a prize of war. And she's not alone. On the same day...
  • Neil
    1970-01-01
    In Homer’s Iliad, women do not speak very often, except maybe for the goddesses, and Briseis, the central character of Barker’s novel, has no words at all."'Silence becomes a woman.' Every woman I’ve ever known was brought up on that saying."Here Barker retells the story but from Briseis’ perspective, giving Briseis a voice but also allowing a view into the lives of other women in the story. What we get is a new view of a well-known story...
  • Cathy
    1970-01-01
    In The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker sets out to give voice to the women ‘silenced’ in previous versions of the story of the Trojan War.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure she entirely succeeds.  It all starts promisingly as the reader experiences the fall of Lyrnessus to the Greek army, commanded by Agamemnon, through the eyes of Briseis, wife of King Mynes.  The horror of the battle, the dreadful consequences of defeat for the female inh...
  • Scarlett
    1970-01-01
    One of the hardest 5-star ratings I've ever given! I enjoyed it immensely, I read it in every spare moment, it was so exciting, but... it's not really deserving of being among the best works. I think I will always crave historical fiction and retellings of great myths, especially since Madeline Miller is not giving me what I need. While Circe remains one of the best books I've read this year, this one came as a great consolation, although the qua...
  • Crystal King
    1970-01-01
    I read this following both Emily Wilson's The Odyssey and Madeleine Miller's Circe so I'm in ancient Greek heaven. This is a small slice of the Odyssey story about Briseis, a queen that was a prize of war awarded to the great Achilles. It's a fascinating take on the tale, one that is as gritty as it is beautiful, a book that lacks any sugar-coating and is full of difficult relationships that seem true to the human spirit, both the good and bad. I...
  • Annette
    1970-01-01
    Based on Greek mythology, Homer’s Iliad, and set during the final weeks of the Trojan War, this book brings a story of Briseis. After Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, conquers Troy’s neighboring kingdom, he slaughters all men and captures all women; among them the queen Briseis. She becomes his concubine. At the camp set under the walls of Troy where all captured women stay, Briseis meets Patroclus, Achilles’ closest companion. Patroc...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    1970-01-01
    Pat Barker has chosen an intriguing point-of-view to re-imagine THE ILIAD--that of Briseis, Achilles’ concubine. I’m not concerned with keeping the purity of Homer’s text, since Homer’s text, written subsequent to preceding oral traditions, demonstrates variants in characters and events—some minor, some potent. And, in the Western Canon, The Iliad has sparked many subsequent interpretations and re-imaginings. Some of the plot/themes of ...
  • Lindz
    1970-01-01
    In a lot of ways this was an easy novel to sink into. I writing is strong, and I am very comfortable with the story of Achilles. For something I was under the assumption (no idea how I got to this conclusion) that this was a book that would vear away from the Warriors of Troy and hang out in the background a little. But no Achilles and Patroclus' light is too strong for Barker not to go there. And I understand their relationship, no matter how yo...
  • Eleanor Slater
    1970-01-01
    A brilliant retelling of the seige of Troy from the perspective of Briseis the Queen of Lyrnessus. We witness as her city falls to the Greek army, led by Achilles, as her brothers are murdered, her husband killed and the city ransacked. Briseis and the other women become slaves to the conquerors and their lives and loves, their humanity and sacrifices that are silent in the orginal tale are brilliantly spoken by Pat Barker.
  • Anna Eklund
    1970-01-01
    The women in Homer’s Iliad are hardly ever heard to speak. We are not privy to their thoughts, their feelings, their anguish, given to us in their own words. Until now. The Silence of the Girls bears moments of the Trojan War through the eyes of the female captives at the mercy of the men who have slaughtered their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, as they carve out new lives for themselves in the wake devastation. The focus of Barker’s nove...
  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    1970-01-01
    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! Normally, I only give 5-star ratings out to books I'm going to read over, and over, and over again. But I probably won't ever again touch The Silence of the Girls. Not because it was bad, but the opposite: it was too good. I felt like I was mourning and despairing and struggling and fighting alongside Briseis herself, and that's not something I want to go through again.But I'm getting ah...
  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    1970-01-01
    Normally, I only give 5-star ratings out to books I'm going to read over, and over, and over again. But I probably won't ever again touch The Silence of the Girls. Not because it was bad, but the opposite: it was too good. I felt like I was mourning and despairing and struggling and fighting alongside Briseis herself, and that's not something I want to go through again.But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start with an overview of the...PLOT Th...
  • Rachel (rachandbooks)
    1970-01-01
    Not totally sure on the rating yet. I may be rounding up. I need to think on it! RTC
  • Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
    1970-01-01
    I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Doubleday. Trigger warnings: rape, death, child death, slavery, violence.The Silence of the Girls is the story of the Trojan war told from the perspective of Briseis, a queen turned slave when the Greeks raid her city. She’s given to Achilles as a prize, no more human than stacks of gold or fine cloth. When a plague forces Agamemnon to give up his own slave girl, he demands Brisei...
  • Evie Braithwaite
    1970-01-01
    I went into this story having never read either Homer's The Iliad or anything by Pat Barker. However, that didn't stop me from being instantly captivated by this retelling.The Silence of the Girls is told from the perspective of former queen Briseis who is captured and descends to become Achilles' prize of war. In grand epics, women have no opinion, they have no power, they have no voice. However, Barker fills this vacuum and offers readers a new...
  • Sid Nuncius
    1970-01-01
    I thought The Silence Of The Girls was quite outstanding. I wasn’t sure whether I would like it, but it turned out to be readable, insightful, humane and by the end was utterly spellbinding.(If spoiler warnings are needed for a famous 2500-year-old story, be aware that I make reference below to some events in the book.)This is the story of the end of the Trojan War from the perspective of Briseis, a Trojan noblewoman captured in battle and give...
  • Martina
    1970-01-01
    *4.5*I was provided with a physical ARC of this book by the publishing house, Penguin Random House UK, in exchange of an honest review."The silence of the girls" is an original retelling of the Iliad from the point of view of a woman, Briseis. This is such a novelty because the Iliad is known as a story of heroes. Great Achilles, Agamemnon, Odysseus, Patroclus, Hector, Paris... All men. And what about women? What about their lives, thoughts and v...
  • Carolyn
    1970-01-01
    I was initially attracted by the premise of this story, an tale of war, traditionally told from a point of view of power, strength, and masculinity told instead as experienced by a woman. Briseis had been married by her father to the king of a city near Troy. During the war the city fell to the Greeks, the men all slaughtered and the females taken as trophies. They know what their fate will be, they expect it, and expect to have no say, no voice....
  • Crystal Brown
    1970-01-01
    As someone who read and enjoyed Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles and is an avid lover of Greek mythology--any mythology, really, I could not wait to get my hands on Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls.Reading is always an emotional act for me. It's why I prefer fiction to non-fiction. Books about Achilles just slay me. I already know how it ends. I already know who Achilles is and who he is not, but I always experience a bleak hope that p...
  • Gianna
    1970-01-01
    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.A compelling, captivating story, The Silence of the Girls is a tragic retelling of one of the most famous stories of the ancient world : the Trojan War. After her city falls to the Greeks and is burnt down to ashes, Briseis, the wife of Lyrnesuss's king, is held captive along the rest of the womenfolk, and becomes a slave. As her luck has it, she i...