This one was a personal favorite! My undergrad degree in Classics pointed me toward this re-imagination of the sorceress Circe, and the novel did not disappoint. I actually listened to audio production and it was stellar. Miller’s beautiful writing style came to life, and Circe’s tale, which intersects many other famous mythological characters including, most famously, Odysseus, captured me from the first word. Here are some book club questions for Circe to help guide your discussion:
- Circe encounters various characters who influence her life, from gods to mortals. How do external influences shape her character, and in what ways does she resist or succumb to these influences?
- How does Miller portray Odysseus, and how does his relationship with Circe compare to traditional depictions in Greek mythology?
- What other secondary characters stand out to you, and how do they contribute to the richness of the narrative? Consider characters like Jason and Medea, Daedalus, the Minotaur, and Penelope.
- Circe spends a significant amount of time in isolation. How does her solitude shape her character, and what does it reveal about the human condition?
- Miller’s prose is often praised for its beauty and lyricism. How does the author’s writing style contribute to the overall atmosphere and impact of the story?
- Circe is a powerful sorceress, but she also has vulnerabilities. What are some of the moments in the novel where Circe displays vulnerability, and how do these moments contribute to the complexity of her character?
- Discuss the feminist elements in Circe. How does Circe’s story reflect themes of agency, independence, and the challenges faced by women in a patriarchal society?