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Summary

In The Children of Jocasta, Natalie Haynes retells the Oedipus and Antigone myths to reveal a new side of an ancient story....

My siblings and I have grown up in a cursed house, children of cursed parents....

Jocasta is just 15 when she is told that she must marry the King of Thebes, an old man she has never met. Her life has never been her own, and nor will it be unless she outlives her strange, absent husband.

Ismene is the same age when she is attacked in the palace she calls home. Since the day of her parents' tragic deaths a decade earlier, she has always longed to feel safe with the family she still has. But with a single act of violence, all that is about to change.

With the turn of these two events, a tragedy is set in motion. But not as you know it.

©2018 Natalie Haynes (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Children of Jocasta

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

So many twists and turns!

I listened to this book after finishing “The silence of the girls” and loving it so much I wanted something similar.
I’m not very knowledgeable about history so was surprised I fell so in love with this genre of book.
The book is told from two points of view and I enjoyed Jocasta’s chapters right from the start, Ismene’s chapters took a while for me to warm up to but they eventually became just as thrilling as Jocasta’s. Such a great story, I didn’t want it to end.
This is also the second book I’ve listened to that has been narrated by Kristen Atherton and I think that is part of the appeal of the story for me, she has a beautiful voice and is a very skilled story teller.

9 people found this helpful

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Clever story, brilliant performance

Amazing rewrite of the classic Greek tragedy story of the house of Oedipus. Although it removes all the supernatural aspects, the story isn't any less enticing. in fact, it makes the story more believable, more relevant to us. The performance of Kristin was first class. I don't think I've ever heard any story as well read as her performance. well done.

5 people found this helpful

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lost count of how many times Ive listened

This is such a wonderful book by an extraordinarily excellent writer with a brilliant narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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gripping history

loved this retelling of a tragedy, read it in record time. good plot and believable characters

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulous compelling story

This is a really clever and imaginative retelling of the Oedipus myth, through the eyes of both his wife Jocasta and his four children. It is brilliantly reimagined and has some very clever twists and turns to offer new insights and new perspectives on a story that will be very familiar for many of the people drawn to this audiobook. I listened to it virtually non-stop: it is that intense and exciting, and it is highly recommended along with Natalie Haynes' other books. She is truly one of the best authors who brings a kind of contemporary, feminist orientation to classical mythology. Finally, Kristin Atherton is a brilliant reader.who really brings this text, and it’s colourful characters, back to life. This production of The Children of Jocasta is a great accomplishment by both women.

1 person found this helpful

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Chicklit with educational ambition?

I bought this book hoping for something as well-written and absorbing as "Song of Achilles" and "The Silence of the Girls". Perhaps because this novel couldn't stand the comparison (not by far) I was disappointed and stopped listening. The author ovbiously knows a lot about her subject and you get a vivid picture of ancient Thebes, but you never get close to the main characters, Ismene and Jocasta. They seem to be there mainly to make the story itself move forward. The novel reminds me of chicklit - not bad but nothing to thoroughly enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

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Ok

I didn’t like the ending I wanted the two characters to meet and I didn’t like how they changed Antigoni’s ending and how they called each other with pet names. The narrator was good .

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Incredible adaptation

This is the first time I have listened to a book rather than reading it, and it was absolutely fantastic. I listened to it every chance I could and was gripped from start to finish.

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Didn't want this book to end!

I fell in love with Jocasta and Izzy. I was completely transported to this world and binged the book in a couple of days.

I loved the narration for the main characters, it fit perfectly in my opinion. I would say however when anyone that was slightly less well spoken arose in the story, the narration went slightly northern.

I found it quite distracting in multiple parts. Hopefully it was just me who noticed this having lived in Yorkshire before ha! I think a different dialect to show someone is of a poorer background would've worked better. If it was even required at all.

I've still recommended this book to two people (the physical books that is!) A great listen overall.

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Good story well told

Interesting - even gripping - and I learned a lot about ancient Greek culture and politics as well (with the understanding that some C21 artistic license has been exercised). The COVID pandemic brings the account of "The Reckoning" a bit closer to home.
It is very well read and characterised.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-07-19

I couldn't stop listening

I have enjoyed Natalie Haynes radio work, but this book was way beyond expectations. If you like myths and how myths change with the telling and the teller, this book is for you. If you don't like myths, listen anyway - so much drama but so delicately written.

2 people found this helpful