“A raw and compelling portrait of 411 BC Greece in which women must fight for justice and democracy” by the Strega Prize–winning Italian novelist (La Stampa).
Athens, 411 BC. As the Peloponnesian War draws to a close, a political coup begins to take shape in Athens. Veterans of the infamous battle of Mantinea, Thrasyllus, and Polemon now live as humble farmers in the countryside. They are determined to find influential husbands for their daughters, Glycera and Charis, but first they must defend Athens from the oligarchs plotting to reinstate tyrannical rule.
Young and impatient, Glycera and Charis soon become infatuated with their neighbor’s rich and arrogant son, Cimon. When their fathers travel to Athens to see Aristophanes’s latest comedy, the girls use the chance to accept an invitation to Cimon’s house . . . with no notion of what awaits them on their visit.
Alternating between the secret drama playing out in the countryside and the public one playing out onstage in Athens, Alessandro Barbero weaves “a compelling story of women’s valiant struggles to maintain their dignity in a misogynistic society” (Historical Novel Society).