The Silence of the Girls

The Silence of the Girls

by

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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 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.

Title:The Silence of the Girls
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    The Silence of the Girls Reviews

  • Emily May

    "Great Achilles. Brilliant Achilles, shining Achilles, godlike Achilles . . . How the epithets pile up. We never called him any of those things; we called him ‘the butcher’." The Silence of the...

  • jessica

    sometimes it feels as if my hearts only purpose is to beat for greek mythology and this book is a gift, straight from zeus himself, to give me life. this retelling of the trojan war is, simply put, st...

  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    I was a slave, and a slave will do anything, anything at all, to stop being a thing and become a person again. This is a really good historical novel. I didn't say historical romance because it is ...

  • Tatiana

    30%, I am calling it quitsI guess what I don't understand is why, if you choose to rewrite The Iliad from the perspective of women, all these women do is talk about men, observe these said men, and th...

  • Hannah Greendale

    This reads as if Barker set out to retell "The Iliad" from the perspective of the women and - whoopsy - forgot that was the goal and wrote a book about Achilles instead. Don't be fooled; The Silence o...

  • Meredith

    “The defeated go down in history and disappear, and their stories die with them.” The Silence of the Girls is a dark and weighty retelling of the Iliad. Told from the voice of one of the defeat...

  • Melanie

    This was my pick for the September 2018 Book of the Month box! “Looking back, it seemed to me I’d been trying to escape not just from the camp, but from Achilles's story; and I’d failed. ...

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    All the stars to my new favorite read, The Silence of the Girls!Today I have a book that came highly recommended by my friend, Paula, at Book Jotter, and my Goodreads friend, Tammy. My Thoughts:The Si...

  • Puck

    "I was a slave, and a slave will do anything, anything at all, to stop being a thing and become a person again." This book was not what I hoped it would be. After reading Circe this summer and f...

  • Amalia Gkavea

    '' 'Divine Muse, sing of the ruinous wrath of Achilles...Begin where they first quarrelled, Agamemnon the King of men and great Achilles.' And what are they quarrelling about, these two violent, mi...