Empowering life lessons from myths and monsters.
Wonder at Medusa’s potent venom, Circe’s fierce sorcery and Athena rising up over Olympus, as Nikita Gill majestically explores the untold stories of the life bringers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world – the great Greek Goddesses.
Vividly re-imagined and beautifully illustrated, step into an ancient world transformed by modern feminist magic.
‘I watch Girl become Goddess
and the metamorphosis is more
magnificent than anything
I have ever known.’
Goodreads: Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill
Publication Date: September 2019
Source: Libby Library App
Genre: Poetry, Mythology, Feminism
I have been a huge fan of Nikita Gill since she first started sharing her poetry on Tumblr during the microblogging site’s peak. She still keeps a Tumblr blog where she shares snippets of new poetry and which I still follow. Despite this, I had never read a book of hers until recently.
The themes of feminism and womanhood are well-represented in Great Goddesses. Gill showcases the women and monsters of Greek mythology in a fresh way, telling their stories from their own point of view rather than through the lens of the men and victors of ancient times. Both familiar women of myth and the less well-known are given space in this ode to their lives.
I enjoyed reading about some of my old favourites like Athena and Artemis – warrior goddesses who made their own rules and carved a space for themselves in the world. Throughout my life, I had always tried to emulate some of the qualities I found in them – independence, intelligence, and compassion for other women.
Reading Great Goddesses, I gained a newfound appreciation for the “quiet”, the “crazy”, and the “selfish” women of Greek myth. Perhaps they were never like the way I just described them but reading the myths and stories as a child, who had no nuances of the adult world and no social/political context to place these stories, may have clouded my view of goddesses like Hestia, and Hera, or even Helen.
In my life now, I appreciate Hestia’s efforts to support her family despite their dismissiveness of her. I understand Hera’s anger, misplaced it may be, toward Zeus’ lovers and various children. And while, as a child, I could never understand how Helen could just stand by and watch thousands of people be killed instead of just surrendering and going back home, now I wholeheartedly support her. I, too, would watch the whole world burn if it meant I could finally be free.
What did I not like about it? I preferred the poems rather than the short story style of some of the chapters.
Would I recommend this book to anyone? If you feel like you don’t quite fit into this world or if you need a little pick-me-up or a reminder that you have immense strength within you, definitely read this book.