Margaret Atwood's re-telling of the myth of Odysseus is witty and engaging. She gives Penelope a real voice and I thought the resulting character was very believable. Much easier to believe her written this way than just as the faithful wife, waiting for 20 years for her husband to come home. The thoughts and feelings she may have had were conveyed in a really interesting way.
The explanation for why Odysseus killed the 12 maids when he returned was interesting. In fact, I found the whole subject of the 12 maids fascinating - including the reference to the possibility of the existence of a moon-worshipping cult, conquered by a more patriarchal system.
While reading it, I kept thinking how interesting this would be to stage (I direct theatre plays from time to time). Penelope's monologues are certainly not boring and the use of the maids as a Greek-type chorus is great - I always love a Greek-type chorus, it really adds something.
The Penelopiad is part of a bigger project (The Myths) of re-relling old tales. Karen Armstrong's A Short History of Myth is also a part of this project and it's on my reading list this year. The others sound interesting too!
Reading this really made me want to read Homer's The Odyssey - I have it at home so I hope to get to is soon and then maybe re-read Margaret Atwood's version of the story. Maybe next year.
So, a short review for a short book - I give it a B+. It contributes to the A-Z Challenge, the Mythopoeic Challenge, the Novella Challenge and the Once Upon a Time Challenge. That's pretty good value!