Review: House of Names by Colm Toibin

I joined NetGalley when I heard Colm Tóibín’s House of Names was available. My second major was in Classical Languages (Latin & Greek) and I’ve got a weak spot for mythology. Unlike other retellings which co-opt old themes for a modern take, Tóibín’s House of Names keeps the original names and plot basics. Before Agamemnon sails for Troy, he sacrifices his daughter, Iphigenia, to turn the wind in his favor. His devastated wife, Clytemnestra, plots his demise and kills him upon his return. This backdrop, which Tóibín swiftly sets up and delivers, stays true to the original but he alters the framing. The women—Clytemnestra and her daughters, Iphigenia and Electra—are in the foreground; Agamemnon and his son, Orestes, move to the back. read more