This is a story that deserves to be told, and is wholly relevant now. Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this before its expected October publication.
Medusa is a character so many feel they know. But in Jessie Burton’s reimagining we get another version of Medusa, one that it’s hard to ignore.
Merina, as she calls herself, has spent the last four years secreted away on a deserted island. She is accompanied by her immortal sisters and her dog. Though she is reasonably content, there is no denying the fact that Merina is lonely and bitterly upset by her treatment at the hands of others.
One day she hears a young boy arrive on the island. Though she doesn’t feel she can meet him in person, she takes the time to talk to the boy and learn his story. She trusts him, and even harbours hope that he may be someone who can overlook her physical appearance. But the young boy, Perseus, has his own story.
While this narrative focuses on Medusa it paints a more sympathetic picture and seeks to encourage us to look beneath the judgments of others. It reminded me of the Carol Ann Duffy poem ‘Medusa’ in its feminist focus on the myth we think we know.
I loved the illustrations in this as they captured the spirit of Medusa, particularly towards the end. The writing was poetic and yet the thing that will remain with me is the haunting depiction of a young girl trying to find her own way in the world.