WE GODDESSES by Doris Orgel


Athena, Aphrodite, Hera
Age Range: 10 & up
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Orgel (The Princess and the God, 1996, etc.) focuses on the goddesses, who throughout history have received less attention than their male counterparts. Her lengthy introduction takes on women’s roles in ancient Greece (not much better off than slaves), and ancient Greek religion and society. She also maintains that readers are bored by the stiff presentation of mythology collections, and aims for a livelier tone; some may find this disconcerting’similar to reading a modern English translation of the Bible after years of King James. She focuses on Athena, the goddess of wisdom, Aphrodite, goddess of love, and Hera, goddess of marriage, weaving stories of the other gods and goddesses as they relate to these three. Each goddess “narrates” her own section, about her own times, but Orgel also brings in relevant material’sometimes from completely different time periods—that enriches the stories in new ways, e.g., invoking Shakespeare’s “Love’s spring,” while explaining how Aphrodite’s arrival is also the arrival of spring. Also present is a more modern take on Hera’s traditionally shrewish image. Annotations in the margins provide background information, pronunciations, and cross references. The illustrations and photographs of museum works help resurrect these deities, as does a reader-inclusive play at the end. (map, bibliography) (Folklore. 10+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7894-2586-6
Page count: 105pp
Publisher: DK Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1999


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