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The Women of Troy [9780241427231]

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Following her bestselling, critically acclaimed The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker continues her extraordinary retelling of one of our greatest myths.

'Taut, masterly, wholly absorbing. Still one of the greatest stories ever written. A book that will be read in generations to come' Daily Telegraph on The Silence of the Girls

Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home victors, loaded with their spoils: their stolen gold, stolen weapons, stolen women. All they need is a good wind to lift their sails.

But the wind does not come. The gods have been offended - the body of Priam lies desecrated, unburied - and so the victors remain in limbo, camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, pacing at the edge of an unobliging sea. And, in these empty, restless days, the hierarchies that held them together begin to fray, old feuds resurface and new suspicions fester.

Largely unnoticed by her squabbling captors, Briseis remains in the Greek encampment. She forges alliances where she can - with young, dangerously naive Amina, with defiant, aged Hecuba, with Calchus, the disgraced priest - and begins to see the path to a kind of revenge. Briseis has survived the Trojan War, but peacetime may turn out to be even more dangerous...


Pat Barker was born in Yorkshire and began her literary career in her forties, when she took a short writing course taught by Angela Carter. Encouraged by Carter to continue writing, she sent her fiction out. Thirty-five years later, she has published sixteen novels, including her masterful Regeneration Trilogy, been made a CBE for services to literature, and won the UK's highest literary honour, the Booker Prize.

Her last novel, The Silence of the Girls, began the story of Briseis, the forgotten woman at the heart of one of the most famous war epics ever told. It was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Costa Novel Award and the Gordon Burn Prize, and won an Independent Bookshop Award 2019. The Women of Troy continues that story. Pat Barker lives in Durham.


STAFF PICK: (Lucy's Choice)

“This continuation of The Silence of the Girls is set in Ancient Troy, in the months following the battle. The victorious Greek army are stranded on a bleak shore, unable to sail home because the wind is against them.

Is this because they have offended the gods, or is it just bad luck?

Tensions rise as the captive Trojan women start to see small ways to make their lives less intolerable, and try to cling onto hope, however fleeting.

Can’t wait for the next instalment from Pat Barker!”

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Pat Barker
Hamish Hamilton Ltd
Stock Status:
In stock
528 Grams
  • 4
    A unique perspective on Greek mythology!

    Posted by Eloise Spencer on 6th Sep 2021

    After reading the first book in this series I was really excited to get stuck into this one, it did not disappoint.

    The Women of Troy follows the story of Briseis and the other women who are taken as slaves when the Trojan Horse infiltrates the walls of Troy.

    I absolutely love that Pat Barker has been able to give the women of Troy a voice through these books. Most stories focus on the Greek men involved in these tales, stories of heroism and bravery. They skirt over the atrocities that were committed and the suffering of the females they captured. This series gives a fresh but important perspective to the mythological tales.

    I have two small issues with this book that slightly dampened my enjoyment of it. Firstly, there was some language used by Briseis that did not sit well with me at all. Upon reading it my mind started wandering else where as I tried to understand why it was used, I would have preferred it to have been left out. Secondly, I had the same issue with this book that I had with the first book. Most of the story is from Briseis perspective, but for random chapters the perspective would change to one of the men without making it obvious. This always threw me off and I sometimes had to reread passages to figure out whose perspective was being used. That being said, reading the first two books in this series back to back really added to my enjoyment. I can’t wait to see what Pat Barker does next!

    I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Greek mythology.

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