Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

Nina MacLaughlin

Book cover

Content warning for, well, pretty much everything! Of course most or all of the rape, murder and abuse in these stories is in the original myths, but usually soft-pedaled. It’s on full display here; seriously, some of the stories (e.g. “Procne and Philomela”) I would probably not read again.

I really appreciated what MacLaughlin was trying to do with these retellings, and mostly I felt like she was successful. I do think the collection would have been a little more impactful if edited down a bit. My favorite stories were those that broke up the stream of trauma, and while it’s powerful to see the sheer amount of trauma in the originals on unvarnished display, it loses some punch through repetition. My absolute favorites, which I’d recommend to anyone (and are pretty much CW-free), were “Arachne” and “Baucis.”

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars