Saturday 28 May 2022

Book Review | Galatea by Madeline Miller | prettylittlewriter

‘In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost...’

When I first ordered this book when Waterstones released their gorgeous edition, I was expecting it to be SLIGHTLY bigger than it was (smaller than my hand was a surprise!). And with it only being 49 tiny pages long, I managed to read it within 15 minutes.

It's a story about a woman that has been carved from stone and brought to life, and in the eyes of her creator initially, she is perfect. Until years go by and she is no longer her creators favourite thing, and he is constantly trying to create new work that is better, and more perfect.

He still uses Galatea as his puppet, she cannot go out, she is forced to look her best and do as he tells her.

But this is not a story for you to feel sorry for Galatea, as she is made of stone in more ways than one. She is strong, and she is determined. And she is not afraid to make a sacrifice to save both herself and her daughter, Paphos.

Madeline's writing style was quite surprising to me (I've yet to read Circe/SOA), as there was the use of profanities and some sexual references, which I was not expecting! But it definitely made the story feel less complicated (as greek mythology can be) and more relatable.

I didn't warm to Galatea as much as I'd have hoped, but I think it was purely down to the fact that it's such a short story. If it was made into a full blown novel I think I'd have definitely felt closer to her.

Overall a great story, and I did enjoy it, but I would have preferred not to have paid £8.99 for 44 pages of writing. I feel it would have been better to release as an addition into one of her next full novels, or as a free new story to read online. It just felt like a quick cash grab (I didn't realize the story had been written years ago either!).

3.5/5 stars

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