A Good Morning America Book Club Pick! • A bighearted novel with technicolor characters, plenty of Texas swagger, and a powder keg of a plot in which marriages struggle, rivalries flare, and secrets explode, all with a clever wink toward classical mythology.
For fans of Madeline Miller's Circe: "The Iliad meets Friday Night Lights in this muscular, captivating debut" (Oprah Daily).
The Briscoe family is once again the talk of their small town when March returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother's wife. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with open arms. Her husband's own past affairs have made her tired of being the long-suffering spouse. Is it, perhaps, time for a change? Within days of March's arrival, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and even the strongest of alliances are shattered. In the end, the ties that hold them together might be exactly what drag them all down.
An expansive tour de force, Olympus, Texas cleverly weaves elements of classical mythology into a thoroughly modern family saga, rich in drama and psychological complexity. After all, at some point, don't we all wonder: What good is this destructive force we call love?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In Stacey Swann’s charismatic debut novel, philandering real estate agent Peter Briscoe presides, patriarch-like, over a small Texas town—leaving his wife, June, to endure his betrayals. But when the couple’s hotheaded son March comes home two years after he was caught cheating with his brother’s wife, the entire family is thrown into turmoil. Swann’s clever reboot of Greek mythology doesn’t require a classics degree to revel in the conflict and drama. As the Briscoe clan (like the gods they’re named after) suffer the consequences of their worst impulses, Swann deftly turns our attention to the price that women pay when men behave recklessly. Olympus, Texas is a fun, bittersweet saga for our modern feminist age.
Swann's luminous debut follows a troubled family in small-town Olympus, Tex., as they become increasingly consumed by secrets, scandals, and betrayals. As the book opens, March Briscoe returns two and a half years after his affair with his sister-in-law, Vera, was discovered. March's reappearance sets in motion a chain of disasters. His brother, Hap, is still mad about the infidelity, and his mother, June, doesn't know how to handle it. Meanwhile, March and Hap's chronic philanderer father, Peter, a real estate tycoon, deals with June's discontent with his past infidelity, and March's half-siblings fathered by Peter twins Arlo and Artie are divided by Arlo's jealousy over Artie's new boyfriend. Rife with allusions to mythology , this epic makes the most of its vivid Texan setting, becoming as well a love letter to the state's rugged beauty and homegrown familiarity ("The sun is glinting off the water's murky surface like spilled glitter as he crosses the bridge and hits the city limits of the only place that's ever felt like home"). This teems with skillfully evoked drama and tragedy.
Great story, writing confusing
I like the idea and the premise of the story. However, I found it very difficult to read through. There were times the writing just wasn’t detailed enough and it left me confused.