We all think we know the myth. Hades kidnaps Demeter’s daughter Persephone and takes her to the underworld and in her grief, Demeter lets the Earth go barren. Only when Zeus intercedes is Persephone allowed to return for part of each year, thus creating our seasons of spring and summer.
But then comes along RADIANT DARKNESS and with it, Persephone’s chance to set the record straight. You see, in reality, Persephone yearns for her independence from a mother who still sees her as a little girl. Demeter has Persephone locked away in a vale with no men, no humans, and no fun. So when Hades shows up, Persephone takes up his offer of escape eagerly, and without really thinking about the consequences.
This was a very clever and thoughtful spin on the Persephone myth, which even offers up a touching subplot involving a young mother Persephone meets in the underworld and her undying love for the daughter she left behind. I didn’t buy that Persephone and Hades are soul mates though. He’s depicted as a very manipulative, selfish guy (not untypical for men, ha!) and Persephone is so naïve and desperate, she probably would’ve run off with ANY guy who showed up (though maybe that’s the point?). In any case, this is an excellent read for fans of Greek mythology and those who’d like to know more about it.
RADIANT DARKNESS just came out in hardcover.