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"I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions."
- James Michener
Available from the Following Booksellers: Barnes & Noble Borders Books Amazon Indie Bound
"A beautiful excursion into the realms of The Odyssey, with some surprises Homer didn't know about."
Margaret George
New York Times best-selling author of Helen of Troy
'Penelope's Daughter' by Laurel Corona

Penelope's Daughter: Synopsis

"Laurel Corona brings Homer's epic to life in this spectacular novel of the ancient world. Populated with a rich cast of characters—from Helen of Troy to Odysseus—this is a novel you won't want to put down."
Michelle Moran
best-selling author of Nefertiti

Odysseus goes off to the Trojan War unaware he has left his wife, Penelope, pregnant with her second child, a daughter she will name Xanthe. The teenaged queen of Ithaca is ill-prepared to manage the palace, and leaves Xanthe's upbringing to servants and slaves, who introduce the young girl to life on the harsh but beautiful island. Xanthe's world constricts as the years pass and her father does not return. By nineteen, when Penelope's Daughter opens, Xanthe lives barricaded upstairs in the palace to keep her safe from the rapacious suitors who want to become king by murdering her brother and abducting her as their bride.

She passes the time by weaving the story of her life. The colors, textures, and designs that emerge on her loom serve as the framing device for each chapter in her narrative. We come to know Penelope, grown strong and wily by necessity, Telemachus, weak and self-impressed; Helen, sensual, fragile, and conflicted; Menelaus, broken and befuddled in the aftermath of war; Hermione, daughter of Helen and Menelaus, vengeful and bitter at her parents' abandonment; Antinous and Eurymachus, predatory and unscrupulous in their plot to rule Ithaca; the swineherd Eumaeus; the servant Eurycleia; and the rest of the characters in Homer's Odyssey through Xanthe's visual and tactile artistry.

Most of all, we come to know Xanthe herself. As a child she is imaginative, brave, resourceful, and a bit too nosy and stubborn for her own good. In her teens, disguised for her protection, she comes to Sparta to live with her mother's cousin, Helen of Troy. Now approaching forty, Helen is a complex, powerful combination of queen, priestess, goddess, and tormented soul. From her, Xanthe learns about womanhood through the pleasures of female friendship, the ecstasy of goddess worship, and the passion of her sexual awakening in the arms of the man she loves.

As she tells her story, from time to time, Xanthe's attention is distracted by the sounds of battle and the cries of dying men. The tattered man who appeared in the hall of the palace the day before is her father, home after twenty years. A fight to the death has raged all day between Odysseus and the suitors. Xanthe stands with us before her loom, waiting to see whether a suitor she loathes, a brother she cannot respect, or a father who does not know she exists will be the one to decide her future.

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