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House of Names

by Colm Tóibín - £8.99  Penguin Books Ltd (2018)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780241257692 | ISBN 10: 0241257697

'They cut her hair before they dragged her to the place of sacrifice. Her mouth was gagged to stop her cursing her father, her cowardly, two-tongued father. Nonetheless, they heard her muffled screams.'
 
On the day of his daughter's wedding, Agamemnon orders her sacrifice.
 
His daughter is led to her death, and Agamemnon leads his army into battle, where he is rewarded with glorious victory.
 
Three years later, he returns home and his murderous action has set the entire family - mother, brother, sister - on a path of intimate violence, as they enter a world of hushed commands and soundless journeys through the palace's dungeons and bedchambers. As his wife seeks his death, his daughter, Electra, is the silent observer to the family's game of innocence while his son, Orestes, is sent into bewildering, frightening exile where survival is far from certain. Out of their desolating loss, Electra and Orestes must find a way to right these wrongs of the past even if it means committing themselves to a terrible, barbarous act.
 
House of Names is a story of intense longing and shocking betrayal. It is a work of great beauty, and daring, from one of our finest living writers.

(Price & availability last checked: July 2018)

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