House of names by Colm Tóibín is a heartbreaking retelling of the story of Clytemnestra and her children. A novel full of vengeance, strong-willed characters, all plotting each other’s fate.
In my opinion, the strongest is Electra, who learned from the most powerful villains how to organise, calculate and rule the fates of others. Tóibín’s style is objective, each character tells its own version of what happened, adding their own feelings.
In the beginning I thought I completely understood Clytemnestra up to the final act. Then, Aegisthus’ actions also seemed well-meaning and calculated, yet proved as vengeful and personal as befitting a villain. Then I started to put my hopes into Orestes, only to realise that his friend Leander had the reins of what would happen next. And still, Electra proves it all in the end. What a captivating read, I honestly wouldn’t have thought I could enjoy it so much, it being based on an old classic I was not too fond of.
The novel will be published on May the 9th 2017 and if you like retellings of old classics you should definitely give it a try. It’s sublime ! Colm Tóibín proved to me yet again how talented he is.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.