The story is told from 3 perspectives and begins with Clytemnestra, who is the wife of Agamemnon who witnesses her husband sacrifice their eldest daughter to the gods by slaughtering her as if she were an animal. When Clytemnestra tries to stop it, she is thrown into a hole by her husbands men and left there for a few days. Understandably she then makes the decision to get her revenge on Agamemnon. She begins an affair with a notorious warrior that Agamemnon had been keeping in the palace dungeons, and together they plot to kill him on his return from battle.
The other 2 perspectives are told through the eyes of her son Orestes and her other daughter Electra. The story unfolds over many years and follows the repercussions of Clytemnestra's murder of Agamemnon. Colm Toibin's writing is really engrossing and descriptive. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to others. I think that it would make a great movie or TV series, and I certainly wouldn't object if Colm Toibin chose to write more retellings of Ancient Greek myths. I've got my fingers crossed that he appears at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year.
The only thing that could have improved the book was that I felt like it ended suddenly and maybe I was missing some pages! Part 2 maybe? A great read that I would definitely recommend.
Title: House of Names
Author: Colm Toibin