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The Song of Achilles

by Madeline Miller

Achilles and Patroclus: a great love story told with lyricism, truth and beauty. It will enrapture you and will bring to life not only the lovers but also the siege of Troy, Odysseus, Priam and many more.

Extract

I found myself grinning until my cheeks hurt, my scalp prickling till I thought it might lift off my head. My tongue ran away from me, giddy with freedom. This, and this, and this, I said to him. I did not have to fear that I spoke too much. I did not have to worry that I was too slender, or too slow. This and this and this! I taught him how to skip stones, and he taught me how to carve wood. I could feel every nerve in my body, every brush of air against my skin.
...
I saw then how I had changed. I did not mind any more, that I lost when we raced and I lost when we swam out to the rocks and I lost when we tossed spears or skipped stones. For who can be ashamed to lose to such beauty? It was enough to watch him win, to see the soles of his feet flashing as they kicked up sand, or the rise and fall of his shoulders as he pulled through the salt. It was enough.

Parallels

The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault
Hadrian's Memoirs by Marguerite Yourcenar
The Iliad by Homer
 

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