The Children of Jocasta was the first of Natalie Haynes’ books and the first modern re-writing of Greek mythology that I have read. The purpose of the book is to shine a light on some of the often-forgotten characters from two of Greek mythology’s most famous stories: those of Oedipus and his daughter Antigone. These stories are told several times in Greek Myth, most famously in Sophocles’ plays Oedipus the King and Antigone.
Both main characters of Haynes’ book, Jocasta and her daughter Ismene, are secondary characters in their original stories despite suffering the same trials as their family members, who take centre stage in Sophocles’ texts. The story is structured with intersecting narratives between Jocasta and Ismene, making the story fast-paced and shocking, with one unfortunate event after another. However, the author’s amazing storytelling kept me engaged until the very last page. I really enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to reading more of the same genre.
By Claire, LV