Review – Daughter of Necessity

Cover of Daughter of Necessity by Marie BrennanDaughter of Necessity, Marie Brennan

I don’t normally review short stories and such, but this one caught my eye and I love the cover, so why not? It’s available to read online, for free, here; it’s not a long read, not even really a retelling, but a glimpse behind the scenes. A clever take on a piece of mythology we often take at face value. It answers one simple question.

Why does Penelope weave and unpick a funeral shroud for her husband to delay the suitors?

She’s a clever woman, and this puts her in an active role, taking a hand in her own fate and even her husband and son’s fate. The passive woman of the Homeric epic steps aside to reveal a woman who takes her own fate into her hands.

It helps that the writing is lovely. I can’t pick out a single line or passage: it’s mostly simple, with some of the imagery and phrasing from translations of Homeric verse, maybe a bit of Ovid. It hits just the right note. I do kind of want more, just because I really like the way Brennan interprets the story.

Rating: 4/5

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7 thoughts on “Review – Daughter of Necessity

  1. I saw this review when you posted it, and put the story on my reading list. Just got a chance to read it last night, and really enjoyed it! I think I’d like to put it on the list for the short story share at TAW. Thanks so much for sharing, I hadn’t read anything by her before.

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