In Children of Jocasta, Natalie Haynes reimagines the Oedipus and Antigone stories from the perspectives of two of the women who have often been overlooked; retelling the myth to reveal a new side of an ancient story.
When you have grown up as I have, there is no security in not knowing things, in avoiding the ugliest truths because they can't be faced . . . Because that is what happened the last time, and that is why my siblings and I have grown up in a cursed house, children of cursed parents . . .
Jocasta is just fifteen when she is told that she must marry the King of Thebes, an old man she has never met. Her life has never been her own, and nor will it be, unless she outlives her strange, absent husband.
Ismene is the same age when she is attacked in the palace she calls home. Since the day of her parents' tragic deaths a decade earlier, she has always longed to feel safe with the family she still has. But with a single act of violence, all that is about to change.
With the turn of these two events, a tragedy is set in motion. But not as you know it.