Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Alcestis by Katherine Beutner

Alcestis is the fabled wife of King Admetus who loved her husband so much she died for him. Alcestis comes back from the dead to share her story. Alcestis knows death from her first breath, as her mother dies giving breath to her. Stalked by death, she is again robbed of family at a young age when her sister dies. When she is of a marriageable age, her father holds a contest for her hand. Admetus, who is loved by Apollo, yolks a chariot to a lion and bear, winning the hand of Alcestis. Though her husband is loved by a god, Alcestis loves him. When death comes for Admetus unexpectedly, his lover Apollo once again saves him. Anyone willing to die for the young king can save his life. As Admetus begs his family and friends to save his life, only Alcestis steps forward. Quickly taken, Admetus is horrified. Led to the underworld, Alcestis begins a new journey.

This stunning novel follows the Greek Myth. Combining the historical facts with fanciful mythological proportions, readers follow Alcestis though childhood, marriage and then to the underworld. As a typical Greek woman, she is property of her father or husband. But when she steps forward she becomes her own extraordinary woman. It is almost as if her life begins when it ends. Darkness pervades and the reader is engulfed by the dismal but alluring Underworld. The prose in this book is astounding. It's delicate, gorgeous and breathtaking. It will haunt the readers for months. It has become a favorite. I even tried to get my husband to read it, which is something I never do!
This book left me asking when is love enough and when it is too much?


  1. Mmm. I would have probably done the same. :/ Can't help is a disease.

  2. I know, I would too. Their love story is so extraordinary!