Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
Publish Date: May 12, 2011
Cover Art: Laura Diemer
I received this book from the author and was thrilled with it! As soon as I opened the package, I was excited to read the book - look at that cover - it's gorgeous! It turns out that Ms. Diemer's sister is a fab artist - love, love, love it! Then I read the acknowledgments, I always do, and they were sweet and open and made me want to be friends with the author.
This story is billed as a lesbian retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades. Most stories with gay characters deal with the issues associated with 'coming out' and everyone's reactions. This story doesn't do that, it's just a fact. I love that it's treated so...not casually...but just as matter of fact, I guess. That's the way it should be.
Don't worry if you don't know the myth of Persephone and Hades, you'll read it within the story, where it's treated as a lie that Zeus told because he doesn't want anyone to know what Hades is really like. Ms. Diemer's story really expands on what Persephone did in the Underworld and how the dead exist there.
Persephone starts out as a sheltered young goddess who thinks she has to do whatever she's told and ends up as a strong woman fit to rule by Hades' side. Hades is cast as kind and loving, even though everyone hates and fears her. She keeps doing what she can to make the dead comfortable. Having been isolated for so long, it takes awhile for her to allow Persephone in to all her duties and emotions.
There's never a slow moment, the action and emotions keep going and the characters are very well-written. Mythology is always very pretty to read and I feel that Ms. Diemer kept up that tradition - it's a gorgeous, lush story. I loved the explanations of some of the creatures and features of the Underworld. My favorite was how Cerberus came to be Hades' guard dog. I don't generally get too mushy over dogs, but now I kinda want a three-headed puppy of my own!
One of my biggest complaints about YA love stories is the quickness in which the characters fall in love and have a relationship. I felt that Persephone and Hades really grew into their relationship slowly and carefully as they went, that it would be a lasting one.
I really can't say enough good things about this book, it's amazing! I've already loaned it out to a good friend and his partner and have several others friends that I've recommended it to.