TeenLit Book Reviews

August 2005

Goddess of Yesterday

Caroline B. Cooney

Goddess Of Yesterday, written by Caroline B. Cooney is a historical fiction book written about a young girl named Anaxandra, who, at the age of six, is taken as a hostage, and raised by her captor, King Nicander and his wife Petra. Raised as if she was their daughter, she is a happy, thriving young woman until the day the pirates came and burned her home. Orphaned, and left alone, she builds herself a shelter until king Menelaus comes and takes her with him. Assuming the identity of a princess, she is safe, until she meets Helen of Sparta who knows she is not a princess. When Paris of Troy robs the city, Anaxandra poses as Helen's daughter while the real princess escapes. Now what can she do? Should she assume the identity of another in order to survive? I recommend this to all girls about the ages of twelve to sixteen, although older girls might enjoy it also. On a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the best, I would rate this book a 3. It will help to know a bit about Greek mythology when reading this to help you understand how early Greeks based their behavior on their belief in the gods. This is a wonderful story that can take you right into the life of this struggling teenaged girl, who is caught in the middle of a war. Cooney puts so much description, and character building into this book you get caught up in it and forget you are not really aboard a ship during a storm, or watching Queen Helen at a feast.