Small and perfectly formed
Author: Madeline Miller
Genre: Short Story / Myth
First published: 2013
Edition: Hardback, published by Bloomsbury in 2022
In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost…
This is only a short story, 49 pages long, but it actually does quite a lot within those pages. We get to know Galatea and it is easy to connect to her and I rooted for her within a couple of pages. The world created is very small, but it did not need to be any bigger. It just worked.
I just love Miller’s writing and this simple way of telling a story worked very well for me. I would pretty much read anythings he writes. I did not read Ovid’s version of Pygmalion, but maybe I should. I like it when a story is able to make you want to explore the source material.
Sometimes having a good story packed into few pages is just what you need and this one did that very well. Could this have been a bigger novel? For sure, but I enjoyed it a lot as a short sharp story with a perfect ending.
6 out of 7 stars