Reading guide for Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


A Novel

by Costanza Casati

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati X
Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    May 2023, 448 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. At the start of the novel, Clytemnestra intervenes in a fight involving her sister, Helen. When told that she must let people win their own battles, she thinks to herself, "What if the loser is your loved one?" How does this mentality guide Clytemnestra throughout her life?
  2. Clytemnestra and the rest of the girls in Sparta are trained to fight as children. How does this warrior mentality guide her throughout the novel? How does this set her apart from other heroines you have read before?
  3. The murder of Clytemnestra's first husband, Tantalus, and her baby is not told from the perspective of Clytemnestra herself. How did you read this change in perspective? What did it add to the narrative?
  4. Clytemnestra and Helen's relationship is tested many times, yet there is always love between them. How might you describe the evolution of their relationship? How does the theme of forgiveness play a role between the two?
  5. Describe Clytemnestra's relationship with her father. How did his betrayal make you feel, and how does it shape Clytemnestra?
  6. The story of Clytemnestra and her family is foreshadowed by an inescapable prophecy. Did the priestess's vision play out the way you though it would? What roles did prophecies and religion have in this world?
  7. This story does not have obvious good characters and bad characters; all of them make decisions that are morally questionable. Were there specific moments that made you think differently about any of the characters? Were there some you found unforgiveable?
  8. Why do you think Odysseus allowed for Clytemnestra's daughter to be sacrificed?
  9. How did you feel about Clytemnestra's final act against Agamemnon? In the end, were her actions warranted? Who do you believe is ultimately to blame?
  10. Vengeance is a common theme that courses throughout the story. How does vengeance play a role in all the characters' lives, especially Clytemnestra's?
  11. Clytemnestra has been portrayed by history as an evil queen. How does the author question that role? Do you think Clytemnestra is truly evil?
  12. Are you familiar with any of the myths that are presented in this novel? Were they told differently than you remember?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Sourcebooks. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: After the Miracle
    After the Miracle
    by Max Wallace
    Many people have heard one particular story about Helen Keller—how the saintly teacher, Annie ...
  • Book Jacket: The Lost Wife
    The Lost Wife
    by Susanna Moore
    The Lost Wife is a hard-hitting novella based in part on a white settler named Sarah Wakefield's ...
  • Book Jacket
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Voted 2021 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Angeline Boulley's young adult ...
  • Book Jacket: Hello Beautiful
    Hello Beautiful
    by Ann Napolitano
    Ann Napolitano's much-anticipated Hello Beautiful pulls the reader into a warm, loving familial ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The First Conspiracy
by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch
A remarkable and previously untold piece of American history—the secret plot to kill George Washington

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Pieces of Blue
    by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    A hilarious and heartfelt novel for fans of Maria Semple and Emma Straub.

Win This Book
Win Girlfriend on Mars

30 Copies to Give Away!

A funny and poignant debut novel that skewers billionaire-funded space travel in a love story of interplanetary proportions.



Solve this clue:

S I F A R Day

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.