For our meeting in June we discussed Ransom by David Malouf a book suggested by one of the group.The book weaves a story around the lives of Achilles and Hector as found in Homer’s The Iliad.  It is a retelling of the story of Priam, the king of Troy, going to his enemy Achilles to ask for the body of his son Hector so that he is able to give it a proper burial.  We all felt that this was a beautifully written book. In this story Priam sheds his kingly identity and takes on another to acheive his objective. He was the centre of his world but on this journey, dressed in a plain white robe, with a cart full of treasure, and  with Somax at his side we felt he became a new person as he reflected on his life and his relationships with his family. He became more human. We enjoyed their journey together. As for Somax when he returned no one would believe his stories and some of us lked that ending while others did not. There were those in the group who did not like the way Malouf had taken a very small section of the Iliad and woven his own, to some of us unbelievable, story around it. This was the problem we found too with Geraldine Brook’s character of Mr March in the book March.  Ratings for Ransom ranged from 4-7 and the book scored an overall rating of 6.

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