BookBrowse Reviews House of Names by Colm Toibin

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House of Names

by Colm Toibin

House of Names by Colm Toibin
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  • Published:
    May 2017, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag

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From the thrilling imagination of bestselling, award-winning Colm Tóibín comes a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra - spectacularly audacious, violent, vengeful, lustful, and instantly compelling - and her children.

While she might be considered one of the most notorious women in Greek mythology and, perhaps, its greatest villain, Clytemnestra's story has rarely been told fully or in her own voice. In Colm Tóibín's novel, Agamemnon's wife finally gets her due and claims her space and voice as her betrayal, loss, and descent are told from her perspective, as well as that of her daughter, Electra and her son, Orestes.

House of Names reclaims and humanizes the story of Clytemnestra - daughter of Leda, half-sister of Helen, and wife of Agamemnon - who is tricked into bringing her younger daughter to be sacrificed to the gods so her husband and the Greek armed forces can win the Trojan War. Though some of the details are altered from both The Oresteia and The Odyssey where her story is told, the narrative weaves together layers of myths and epics that honor the historical, ...

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