Skip to main content

Grendel's Mother by Diana Stout: A Book Review

Grendel’s Mother
Author: Diana Stout
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Sharpened Pencils Productions
Release Date: March 16, 2016
Pages: 113
Source:  This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A 15-year-old girl dreams of freedom, with a desire to marry the young man she loves. A horrific event changes her life forever. Pregnant and having brought shame to her family and community, she is sacrificed to the dragon to die, but instead, the dragon saves her unbeknownst to her family and the community. 

     This literary novel reveals a journey of societal injustice, a girl's love for Nature that enables her to survive life in the wild alone, of her giving birth and raising a baby—deemed a monster—entirely on her own. 

     In the end, not only does she battle Grendel to keep him safe, but she battles her son’s killer, Beowulf, as well. 

     My Review: Grendel’s Mother is one of the main antagonists in Beowulf. While reading the tale, the reader always cheers in delight when Beowulf kills Grendel’s Mother. Yet, is Grendel’s Mother really a monster or a villain? There is hardly any information about Grendel’s Mother, and she does not make an appearance till after Grendel is dead. In this novel, Grendel’s Mother is portrayed as a victim of injustice in a brutal world and a patriarchal society.

     Grendel’s Mother is unnamed and she narrates this story. In this story, she dreams of a happy future and dreams of being married to her young lover. However, she eventually realizes that she does not have the future she deserves. For as a woman, she is merely regarded as a chattel and a pawn for a stronger marriage alliance. One day, after a horrible event, she finds herself pregnant out of wedlock. Because of this, she is ordered to be sacrificed to a dragon. However, the dragon does not kill her, and helps her escape. Soon, Grendel’s Mother must learn to survive on her own.

     I really loved the character of Grendel’s Mother. She is very relatable and sympathetic. At first, she is very naive and idealistic. However, due to the cruelties of life, her dreams are taken away. It is because of the injustice in her world that she hardens a hatred for those who have done her harm. I also found her to be a strong, wise, and resourceful woman. She is a woman who has not given up and fights for herself and her son. She also loves her son very much and tries her best to protect him. She is also very respectful to nature. Thus, this woman is not the monster as she is portrayed in Beowulf.

     Overall, this book is about love, family, dreams, choices, and freedom. This novel is about a woman who is trying to find peace and happiness. This novel was a very short read, and I would have liked it to be longer. I wanted more characterization of Grendel. This book also had many unanswered questions, and I would have liked them to have been resolved. Still, this was a faithful retelling of Beowulf told from a different perspective. The story is very beautifully written, and readers will admire how strong Grendel’s Mother is and experience the heart-breaking tragedy that will unfold within these short pages. I recommend this story for fans of Beowulf, origin stories about infamous villains, and survival stories.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

Blog Tour: Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles by Will Bashor

Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles [history/biographical nonfiction] Release date: June 15, 2020 Postponed due to Covid-19: July 30, 2020 at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Hardcover and ebook, 320 pages Author’s page | Goodreads SYNOPSIS Synopsis: This riveting book explores the little-known intimate life of Marie Antoinette and her milieu in a world filled with intrigue, infidelity, adultery, and sexually transmitted diseases. Will Bashor reveals the intrigue and debauchery of the Bourbon kings from Louis XIII to Louis XV, which were closely intertwined with the expansion of Versailles from a simple hunting lodge to a luxurious and intricately ordered palace. It soon became a retreat for scandalous conspiracies and rendezvous—all hidden from the public eye.       When Marie Antoinette arrived, she was quickly drawn into a true viper’s nest, encouraged by her imprudent entourage. Bashor shows that her often thoughtless, fantas