Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Galatea (Madeline Miller)

Small and perfectly formed


Title: Galatea
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…


Since I loved both of this author’s previous books, The Song of Achilles and Circe, when I came across this little book I knew I needed to read it.

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

4 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: Galatea (Madeline Miller)

  1. Novellas are hard to pull off with such limited space for the writing, but they’re beautiful when done right! I’m adding this one to my reading list!

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