My first post for my first readalong! I have always been intimidated by The Odyssey, but I am glad that I decided to join. It is so much more accessible than I expected. I am reading the Fagles translation, and I find the story fascinating and the writing beautiful.
Odysseus has not yet returned home to Ithaca from the war in Troy. Suitors are vying for the affection of his wife Penelope, and his son Telemachus is concerned at the financial cost of them all staying in their palace. Athena comes disguised and convinces Telemachus to confront the suitors and to take action to find whether his father is dead. Telemachus takes to the seas with a crew and Athena aboard and visits Nestor, then Menelaus seeking news of his father. The Gods convene at Mount Olympus to discuss the fate of Odysseus and at the persuasion of Athena, Hermes is sent to free him from the island of Calypso, the nymph holding him captive. He makes a raft to sail from the island and is met with a raging storm sent by Poseidon still angry with Odysseus for blinding his Cyclops son. With the aid of Athena, Odysseus makes it to shore and meets the Phaeacian princess Nausicaa.
I was surprised at how involved the Gods were in the lives of the mortals. Athena has been involved in helping Telemachus, Penelope, and Odysseus in the first six books. It's hard to say whether in the end her interference will ultimately help Odysseus and his family. I think there is something strange about her sending Telemachus to find out about his father when she already knew where he was and that he was alive. I'm afraid Athena has an agenda of her own.
As I was reading this week, my 8-year-old son asked me about the book. I thought it was strange because he usually doesn't take interest in what I'm reading. I started to tell him the story and he was fascinated. He was in bed already and he told me to go read some more and tell him what happened in the morning. It's fun sharing this experience with him. It is quite the adventurous story and I can see why he is interested. He has continued to ask me questions about it and even had me start to read it to him one night. It was a unique experience reading it out loud. It made me realize how important it is to pay attention to not just the story, but the beauty of the writing. I'm excitedly looking forward to the next six books.