Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 08/09/2022
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Bookseller Reviews

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This is the story of Penelope of Ithaca, famed wife of Odysseus, as it has never been told before. The gods are capricious in their ways, their whims dicta... READ MORE
Dan - Clifton, Bristol.
The story that the poets would not tell...
This book was absolutely glorious. This is the story of Penelope, wife of Odysseus, and is the story that the ancient poets would not tell. While greek myt... READ MORE
Loricha Honer


This is the story of Penelope of Ithaca, famed wife of Odysseus, as it has never been told before. Beyond Ithaca's shores, the whims of gods dictate the wars of men. But on the isle, it is the choices of the abandoned women - and their goddesses - that will change the course of the world. Seventeen years ago, king Odysseus sailed to war with Troy, taking with him every man of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. None of them have returned, and the women have been left behind to run the kingdom. Penelope was barely into womanhood when she wed Odysseus. Whilst he lived, her position was secure. But now, years on, speculation is mounting that husband is dead, and suitors are starting to knock at her door... But no one man is strong enough to claim Odysseus' empty throne - not yet. Between Penelope's many suitors, a cold war of dubious alliances and hidden knives reigns, as everyone waits for the balance of power to tip one way or another. If Penelope chooses one from amongst them, it will plunge Ithaca into bloody civil war. Only through cunning and her spy network of maids can she maintain the delicate balance of power needed for the kingdom to survive. On Ithaca, everyone watches everyone else, and there is no corner of the palace where intrigue does not reign... From the multi award-winning Claire North comes a daring, exquisite and moving tale that breathes life into ancient myth, and tells of the women who stand defiant in a world ruled by ruthless men. It's time for the women of Ithaca to tell their tale...

  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • ISBN: 9780356516042
  • Number of pages: 400
  • Weight: 619g
  • Dimensions: 236 x 160 x 38 mm

Customer Reviews

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Superb Greek Mythology
A complete change in style and genre from the usual dystopian fiction for the marvellous Claire North, however Ithaca still boasts her exquisite quality of... READ MORE
T Edwards
Totally immersive reading
What a superb book this is. Managing to combine a very lyrical rhythm, and some genuinely funny writing, this is a wonderful read for lovers of all thin... READ MORE
Let's hear it for the girls!
I was sent a copy of Ithaca by Claire North to read and review by NetGalley. What a wonderful book! Full of myth and intrigue, gods and suitors and best ... READ MORE
Ithaca explores what it meant to be a powerful woman in ancient Greece
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free eARC in exchange for an honest review! If you're looking for a feminist reinterpreta... READ MORE
Millie Slingsby
An Epic Feminist Retelling
I love a Greek Myth. I've been obsessed with them from a very early age, and it was definitely my 'area of special interest' as a child. For the most part,... READ MORE
Georgia Zervudachi
A beautifully told retelling
I was very excited about this book, a retelling of the Odyssey from the perspective of Penelope who gets left behind to manage everything! I'm also a huge ... READ MORE
Penelope Bullock
Three stars - a retelling of Greek mythology
Although I like the retelling of Greek mythology I was a little confused by this story. There were attempts to modernise which did not work for me. I was a... READ MORE
Dana Farren
Penelope must protect Ithaca while waiting for Odysseus returns.
Odysseus left Ithaca eight years ago to help rescue Helen from Troy leaving Penelope to rule and protect Ithaca. This gets harder with suitors demanding sh... READ MORE
Julie Friar
A refreshing take on old tales
It is 18 years since Odysseus sailed to Troy and his wife, Penelope, is the only person who still holds faith that he is alive. Ithaca is not a rich land ... READ MORE
Jo-anne Atkinson
Penelope's wait for Odysseus is more than just weaving
Penelope is such a superstar and I am happy to have a trilogy highlighting her cunning as she deftly manoeuvers to avoid the suitors hanging about the pala... READ MORE
A compelling greek myth read
Retellings of Greek mythology and Ancient Greek epics seem to be the genre of choice in the 2020s; from Jennifer Saint’s two novels to Lore Olympus, and mo... READ MORE
Enjoyable read
I enjoyed this retelling of Greek myth, one I’ll admit to not knowing much about. Claire’s storytelling along with the chapters told from the perspective ... READ MORE
Lynne Packer
A really enticing read.
Every word was beautifully chosen. I loved this book and the way it enticed and flowed.
Joanne Russell
The female side to the Odyssey
I absolutely loved this book! I’m a fan of Mary Beard & Madeleine Miller so happily jumped into this and read it very quickly. Odysseus is still away from... READ MORE
Gemma Rose
Greek myth at its most palatable and entertaining
“I who have nothing to lose that the poets have not already taken from me, only I will tell you the truth. I, who part the veil of time, will tell those st... READ MORE
Marianne Vincent
Penelope has to tread a political tightrope
It’s difficult being a woman (or a goddess) in Ancient Greece, because the men (or gods) all have such fragile masculinity and you have to tiptoe around th... READ MORE
Verity Halliday
Had me oohing and aahing
"Ithaca" had me oohing and aahing, laughing out loud, and glued to the story like a fly to...umm...flypaper! The different perspective on the characters wa... READ MORE
Dawn Lewis
Modern Language Brings This Greek Myth To Life
Being a fan of Claire North's works and having read a few modern retellings of Greek myths, I thought I'd give "Ithaca" a go. I have to say that it's not ... READ MORE
Mel Pretorius
This Greek retelling shines a spotlight, at last, on Odysseus' wife Penelope, the queen of Ithaca
In Ithaca by Claire North, we get acquainted with Penelope, Odysseus' wife. As a woman, she cannot be seen ruling Ithaca in Odysseus' absence, but she also... READ MORE
Page to Stage Reviews (Zarina)
A new spin on an old story
When Odysseus sailed to Troy, he took with him every man of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. Seventeen years later, none of them have returned and, ... READ MORE
Ella - The Story Collector
Impressive retelling of the story of Queen Penelope of Ithaca
“I, Hera, mother of Olympus, … Forget the songs of Apollo, or the proud declarations of haughty Athena. Their poems only glorify themselves. ..only I will ... READ MORE
Vivienne O'Regan
Powerful and bewitching
Ithaca is a story of Queen Penelope, waiting at home while her husband Odysseus gallivants his slow way home after the Trojan War. I have tended to be wa... READ MORE
Blue Book Balloon