The Women of Troy

The new novel from the author of the bestselling The Silence of the Girls

Narrated by Kristin Atherton
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Pub Date 26 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 27 Aug 2021

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Description

Brought to you by Penguin.

Following her bestselling, critically acclaimed The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker continues her extraordinary retelling of one of our greatest myths.

Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors - all they need is a good wind to lift their sails. But the wind has vanished, the seas becalmed by vengeful gods, and so the warriors remain in limbo - camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, kept company by the women they stole from it.

The women of Troy.

Helen - poor Helen. All that beauty, all that grace - and she was just a mouldy old bone for feral dogs to fight over.

Cassandra, who has learned not to be too attached to her own prophecies. They have only ever been believed when she can get a man to deliver them.

Stubborn Amina, with her gaze still fixed on the ruined towers of Troy, determined to avenge the slaughter of her king.

Hecuba, howling and clawing her cheeks on the silent shore, as if she could make her cries heard in the gloomy halls of Hades. As if she could wake the dead.

And Briseis, carrying her future in her womb: the unborn child of the dead hero Achilles. Once again caught up in the disputes of violent men. Once again faced with the chance to shape history.

Masterful and enduringly resonant, ambitious and intimate, The Women of Troy continues Pat Barker's extraordinary retelling of one of our greatest classical myths, following on from the critically acclaimed The Silence of the Girls.

'Taut, masterly, wholly absorbing. Still one of the greatest stories ever written. A book that will be read in generations to come' Daily Telegraph on The Silence of the Girls

© Pat Barker 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Brought to you by Penguin.

Following her bestselling, critically acclaimed The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker continues her extraordinary retelling of one of our greatest myths.

Troy has fallen. The...


Advance Praise

'Taut, masterly, wholly absorbing. Still one of the greatest stories ever written. A book that will be read in generations to come' Daily Telegraph on The Silence of the Girls

'Taut, masterly, wholly absorbing. Still one of the greatest stories ever written. A book that will be read in generations to come' Daily Telegraph on The Silence of the Girls


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format, Unabridged
ISBN 9780241482643
PRICE £10.83 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 26 members


Featured Reviews

One of my favourite historical books last year was silence of the girls and I was very pleased to be given an ARC by Netgalley (thank you). This is a continuation of the characters we met before and the aftermath of the war and battles that took place, it’s very good, I am fast becoming a fan of these tales

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I listened to the audiobook of The Women of Troy and reviewing the story and narration . I found the story interesting and heartbreaking at times, wonderful to hear it from a woman’s perspective. I found the narration a bit hit and miss sometimes with the narration being loud and jarring but I wonder if that was my download? I definitely think this is a story for anyone with an interest in mythology. I found it easy to listen to and enjoy.

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A fascinating and detailed mythology re-telling. The story is told mainly from the POV of Briseis, with occasional interlude from other characters. The characterisation is what made the book for me, I enjoyed learning about the stories of all the different characters and loved the focus on the women of Troy. I found this book detailed and jarring. I’ve really been enjoying Greek Mythology retellings recently and I thoroughly enjoyed this. I haven’t read Silence of the Girls but look forward to picking it up at some point. The narration by Kristin Atherton is also very well done and made for an enjoyable listen. Thanks you to Penguin Random House UK Audio, Hamish Hamilton and NetGalley for an audio-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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3.5 stars Headlines: Intensely detailed retelling The rise of women Tragedy and heartbreak The Women of Troy picked up the story immediately after the end of The Silence of the Girls. It amazed me that a successful outcome of the war didn’t really change dynamics in the camp. The men still treated the women terribly, used and abused them with zero respect. The men across the ranks were petty and egotistical, none more than those who were senior. Again, with this installment, I found there was hardly a man to cheer for. Expect to feel emotions of anger at the misogyny and abuse. I enjoyed hearing the story from Briseis’ perspective; she really was a character to admire. She was all about survival but she maintained a degree of integrity and compassion for her female companions and occasionally for some men. When the story flipped on occasion to one of the male’s perspectives, I was less invested but Briseis carried the majority of the story. The narration was superb and the emotional temperature of the camp was translated well. This story definitely is on the heavier end of spectrum for Greek mythology/ancient history fiction. The detail was both welcome but also at times slow in pacing. I did prefer the first installment of this series but I’m also glad I saw this story through to it’s completion. It ends in a place of possiblity of more but I’m not sure if this is the plan. Thank you to netgalley and Penguin Audio for the early review copy.

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There’s been a wave of books in recent years who have – finally – looked at the realities of the situation of circumstances like the aftermarth of Troy from the perspective of women. I’ve read as many of them as I can handle because, although they’re not easy reading, they’re important reading. Classics is finally starting to shift from being almost entirely male-dominated and dictated to being a bit more equal, and a bit more realistic. Prior to these books, it’s been very easy for people to discuss characters like Helen by simply calling her a whore and leaving it at that; to discuss the rape of hundreds of women and murder of hundreds of children by calling it war. Now, finally, we are starting to talk about what that really means. Maybe it’s because of the current war footage we’re seeing that makes these conversations start, but whatever it is, they need to keep happening. While this might be a work of fiction, it is well researched, and takes so much of its basis from the now factual and archaeological evidence of the Trojan war. Just before the pandemic closed everything down, I went to a display at the British Museum about Troy, actually, and it was both wonderful and horrifying all at once. Within these pages, we see women faced with the most difficult of decisions, and the most brutal of situations, yet Pat Barker still manages to bring a beauty to her work that is a skill that very few possess. It’s a set of scales with brutality and beauty lining up for all to see. It’s not an exaggeration to say this book made me cry multiple times; the power of emotion that Barker navigates through the book is incredible, and is a sheer work of art. I listened to this as an audiobook via NetGalley and the performance was utterly brilliant. This is the kind of book that should be performed for high impact, and the narrator and author work together in perfect sympathy for the other; it’s utterly outstanding.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the early access to this audiobook. I enjoyed this book so much - I'm a sucker for greek myths and retellings, so I may be slightly biased, but it was great nonetheless! I'd say if you loved Circe, you'll love this. I loved the characters, they made the story for me. I am so happy that more and more re-tellings are showing up from women's perspectives, after so long of only hearing these stories from male perspectives. The narrator was great, and I can't wait to receive my hardback book for this one.

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While I absolutely loved ‘The Silence of the Girls’ I felt like ‘The Women of Troy’ didn’t quite have the same feeling or vibe. Silence seemed to hold this air of hope throughout the book, while Women felt like it was almost rudderless and pointless in light of that feeling. Women seemed to contribute no more to Briseis’ story than to see her struggle and suffer more. Once again I didn’t love the switch between 1st person and 3rd person so we could follow other characters. The narrator was fabulous. Her reading was perfection, and she put so much emotion and care into the reading and really made the words and characters come to life. It was a well researched book full of three dimensional characters that were all flawed and realistic but overall it felt unnecessary in regard to the story told.

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Troy has fallen and the Greeks have won the decade long war. Instead of being able to return home victorious, unnatural winds keep the ships from sailing and rumours begin to circulate in the restless Greek camp that the Gods are offended. Told primarily from the point of view of pregnant and newly married Breseis, Barker's poignant sequel to 'The Silence of the Girls' tells the story of the wives, sisters, mothers and daughters that the slaughtered men of Troy left behind. The pace of the book is slow, but it's perfect for it. It gives Barker room to explore the intricacies and politics of the aftermath of war with a fascinating focus on the female experience. While the men ignore, undermine, disrespect and underestimate the women, time and time again, they show courage, determination and resilience that far outweighs that of the Greek heroes. Though it appears not to be as welcome with some reviewers, I think the inclusion of the occasional chapter in the voice of Pyyrhus is wonderful. It gives us a glimpse into his mental torment at being unable to live up to the greatness of his father Achilles, sheds light on the reasons for some of monstrous choices he makes and leaves you in no doubt about the peril the women of Troy remain in. The narration of the audiobook from Kristin Atherton is absolutely spot on, her pacing perfect and she really brings the text to life. “Alcimus is here now, I have to go. I turn my back on the burial mound and let him lead me down to the ships. Now, my own story can begin.” Though little is know about what becomes of Breseis who all but dissapears in the myths, this ending leads me to believe we haven't seen the last of her. This duology NEEDS to be a trilogy. A massive thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for this advance audiobook in return for my honest review

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A slow paced sequel to Barker's Silence of the Girls, if you enjoyed the first book then I would assume you will enjoy this installment. Barker's lyrical prose is what saved this for me as I felt there was a lot of repetition and the story somewhat lacked anything to pull the reader in. My gripe with these books is that readers are baited in with titles that include Girls / Women and claim to be from the perspective of the female population and then you read the work and this is not the case, there are male POVs littered throughout and I find this quite disappointing (and a little misleading). It is not just Pat Barker that does this but both The Women of Troy and The Silence of the Girls suffers from this. An easy read (and listen) and if you are interested in a slightly different perspective of the Trojan war / aftermath then give this one a read.

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I listened to the audiobook version of The Women of Troy by Pat Barker. The story is detailed and heartbreaking at times. The characterisation is really well done.

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“Alcimus is here now, I have to go. I turn my back on the burial mound and let him lead me down to the ships. Now, my own story can begin.” The Women of Troy picks up right where it left off at the end of The Silence of the Girls with Breseis continuing as the narrator of the story, which only adds to the strength of a female voice talking about the enslaved women who were grieving after the war, feeling powerless and traumatised. This is the story we all wish we had after reading The Iliad, and I was hooked and reeled in right from the very first chapter. It starts off with the soldiers inside the Trojan Horse concerned that they will be discovered and massacred and not able to carry out the plan of opening the gates to the City to let the army in. Of course we all know what happened in Troy, and that the Greeks were successful in sacking the City. What I loved most about this book is reading how Breseis met with the women who were taken captive either during the war, or after the fall of Troy, and helped them to adjust to their new lives (and dare I say, freedoms…) You can’t help but feel for Breseis, what with her being married off to Alcimus while being pregnant with Achilles’ baby (oopsie!) and just how did no one suspect anything? Then again… I’m not confident on just how much brains the men of the ancient world had when it came to women and sensing changes in their bodies, because lets face it, they were property for the most part and nothing more. It seems like there will be a third book in the series, rather than this book being the sequel in a duology, and I desperately need that to be true because I love what an absolutely badass fantastic woman Breseis is and the world needs more content of her than what we have. I’m negating talking about the men in my review, because with books like The Iliad and The Song of Achilles I think we’ve read enough about them to be able to make up our minds about their characters and intentions. This book is 95% focused on the women, as it should be. Parker just keeps on releasing outstanding modern classics and I couldn’t be more excited for what she has in store next. Would I recommend this book to everyone? Yes. Will I smack them in the face if they don’t take my recommendation seriously? You betcha. Pick it up, read it, NOW. You won’t regret it. Now, I received an audiobook version along with my hardback and let me tell you, the narrator Kristin Atherton?… FABULOUS. I loved her performance and I’ll be going straight to Audible to purchase the audiobook for The Silence of the Girls to relive it. Thanks so so much to Penguin Random House for sending me a review copy, and to Netgalley for sending me an audiobook to review in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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