Book Reviews of Ithaka

Ithaka
Ithaka
Author: Adele Geras
ISBN-13: 9780152056032
ISBN-10: 0152056033
Publication Date: 1/1/2006
Pages: 368
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3

3.8 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

5 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Ithaka on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

If you've ever read the epic poem THE ODYSSEY by Homer, you know that the author focuses on the thrilling journey of Odysseus. After the Trojan War has ended, Odysseus must battle witches, supernatural monsters, and even gods to gain back his lands and his faithful wife from the thieves that have kidnapped her. In the story of ITHAKA, the focus isn't on Odysseus, but on those that were left behind--first when he went off to war, and then when he fails to return home after the war ends.

The book is narrated by Klymene, a teenage girl who serves as handmaiden to Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. It's been two years since the Trojan War ended, and still her husband has not returned home to rule their land. There is a steady, never-ending stream of suitors vying for Penelope's hand in marriage, hoping that the (mostly) faithful wife will soon realize that her husband is gone forever. Penelope is not sought after because of love, but because of her wealth and the lands she will soon possess if she gives her husband up for dead.

For Klymene, it's difficult to fathom why Penelope is so determined to stay faithful to a husband who is most likely never to return. She soon learns about love and the matters of the heart, however, when she becomes infatuated with Odysseus's troublesome son, Telemachus. Matters are complicated even further when Klymene realizes that she, a lowly handmaiden, is not the apple of Telemachus's eye. That privilege belongs to another young woman who has come to serve in the household, Melantho.

One of the most interesting parts of ITHAKA is the paranormal aspect of Klymene, who is able to see the gods. She is also a keeper of secrets, and since she deals every day with individuals who would do anything to keep those secrets safe, it's a somewhat demanding job.

This is not a retelling of THE ODYSSEY. This is a completely different story, full of magic and heartbreak, joy and sadness, and the trial and error of growing up. There's something for everyone here, with mystery, romance, and action-adventure. If you love historical stories, or those based on myths, you won't go wrong with ITHAKA.
reviewed Ithaka on + 250 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Remember reading "The Odyssey" in high school? Ever wondered what happened back in Ithaca while Odysseus was away on his voyages? How did Penelope fend off the suitors while they invaded her home?

The answers are in this book, a pretty good story, considering we never know what happened while Odysseus was away. According to Geras, Penelope and Telemachus had their hands quite full with all that was going on.

I couldn't wait for the scene where Odysseus finally comes back and kills the suitors. That was always my favorite part in the Homer version and I wanted to see how it would be handled in this book. Turns out, very well!

Entertaining and more accessible than the original Greek epic.
reviewed Ithaka on + 201 more book reviews
The story of Homer's "Odyssey" from the point of view of a young girl, Klymene, a servant of Penelope, Odysseus' wife. She also has her own adolescent fears, hopes and dreams. The Greek gods and goddesses sometimes make their appearances, as they do in the original, while some of Odysseus' adventures appear in the dreams of the characters, including the old dog Argo.

Winner of several awards, this is a superior book for young adults.
reviewed Ithaka on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

If you've ever read the epic poem THE ODYSSEY by Homer, you know that the author focuses on the thrilling journey of Odysseus. After the Trojan War has ended, Odysseus must battle witches, supernatural monsters, and even gods to gain back his lands and his faithful wife from the thieves that have kidnapped her. In the story of ITHAKA, the focus isn't on Odysseus, but on those that were left behind--first when he went off to war, and then when he fails to return home after the war ends.

The book is narrated by Klymene, a teenage girl who serves as handmaiden to Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. It's been two years since the Trojan War ended, and still her husband has not returned home to rule their land. There is a steady, never-ending stream of suitors vying for Penelope's hand in marriage, hoping that the (mostly) faithful wife will soon realize that her husband is gone forever. Penelope is not sought after because of love, but because of her wealth and the lands she will soon possess if she gives her husband up for dead.

For Klymene, it's difficult to fathom why Penelope is so determined to stay faithful to a husband who is most likely never to return. She soon learns about love and the matters of the heart, however, when she becomes infatuated with Odysseus's troublesome son, Telemachus. Matters are complicated even further when Klymene realizes that she, a lowly handmaiden, is not the apple of Telemachus's eye. That privilege belongs to another young woman who has come to serve in the household, Melantho.

One of the most interesting parts of ITHAKA is the paranormal aspect of Klymene, who is able to see the gods. She is also a keeper of secrets, and since she deals every day with individuals who would do anything to keep those secrets safe, it's a somewhat demanding job.

This is not a retelling of THE ODYSSEY. This is a completely different story, full of magic and heartbreak, joy and sadness, and the trial and error of growing up. There's something for everyone here, with mystery, romance, and action-adventure. If you love historical stories, or those based on myths, you won't go wrong with ITHAKA.
reviewed Ithaka on + 6 more book reviews
I LOVED this book! I really enjoy how it shows parts of the poem as well, so even though you read through the eyes of a slave girl in Odysseus's home, you still know where he is at. I also really enjoyed the interactions amongst the gods, how they were described, and how only certain people could see them, or were allowed to see them. Very great book and I will be looking forward to other books by this author in the future.