An amber bead. A gold and glass drinking horn. A ring engraved with Thor's hammer – all artifacts from a Germanic tribe that carved a space for itself through brutality and violence on a windswept land . Brimhild weaves peace and conveys culture to the kingdom, until the secret of her birth threatens to tear apart the fragile political stability. This is her story – the tale of Grendel's Mother. She is no monster as portrayed in the Old English epic, Beowulf. We learn her side of the story and that of her defamed child. We see the many passages of her life: the brine-baby who floated mysteriously to shore; the hall-queen presiding over the triumphant building of the golden hall Heorot and victim of sexual and political betrayal; the exiled mere-wife, who ekes out a marginal life by an uncanny bog as a healer and contends with the menacing Beowulf; and the seer, who prophesizes what will occur to her adopted people. We learn how the invasion by brutal men is not a fairy tale, but a disaster doomed to cycle relentlessly through human history. Only the surviving women can sing poignant laments, preserve a glittering culture, and provide hope for the future.
Susan Signe Morrison
Top Hat Books
Top Hat Books
Top Hat Books
Top Hat Books
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Being a past student of Dr. Susan Morrison's, I have to say I was extremely excited to read this book. We studied Beowulf in our Honor's Anglo-Saxon Poetry class and in our Medieval Literature class at Southwest Texas State University, so the subject was very familiar to me. I have to say that I was taken away by the tale. The imagery, the Anglo-Saxon alliterations and kennings we so much fun to see. I was admittedly lost in certain historical minutiae, but the story was just fantastic! Grendel becoming the monster of sewn seed, her origins, their exile, the evolution of culture...it was all so whimsical and soul-stirring. I loved the Wulf and Eadwacer reference, as well. Still one of my favorites. This book belongs in classrooms right alongside John Gardner's Grendel. Amazing work, Dr. Morrison. Cheers!
An interesting take on the old Anglo-Saxon myth of Beowulf. Beautiful descriptive writing, a lot of complex characters, and an intriguing historical setting. All in all a good read,
Even though I've never read Beowolf, I eagerly devoured this other-worldly and action-packed tale. It's filled with enough incest, rape, plundering, and decapitation to fuel a couple of seasons of Game of Thrones! Although I'm not a scholar, I found the weaving of parallel Norse legends together with Morrison's creative and poetic voice made this a literary adventure as well. This reimagining of Grendel's mother has created a timelessly captivating character. It would make a great mini-series. (And there's room for a sequel.)
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