The Children of Jocasta
From Natalie Haynes, the Women's Prize shortlisted author of A Thousand Ships, comes The Children of Jocasta, a retelling of Oedipus and Antigone from the perspectives of the women the myths overlooked.
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.
A passionate and gripping account of a famously dysfunctional family. Haynes balances a fresh take on the material with a deep love for her sources, wearing her scholarship with grace, and giving new voice to the often-overlooked but fascinating Jocasta and Ismene.
Madeline Miller, Orange Prize winning author of The Song of Achilles
Haynes’s fascination with this long vanished world is evident in every line . . . Her Thebes... is vividly captured: a place of hard light and sharp shadows, dust, fountains and dry heat.
Natalie Haynes takes on Sophocles in her vivid and affecting second novel
Fiction to look out for in 2017, Observer