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Goddess of Yesterday [Library Binding]

Caroline B. Cooney
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 12 2008 1435299418 978-1435299412 Reprint
Anaxandra is taken from her birth island at age 6 by King Nicander to be a companion to his crippled daughter, Princess Callisto. Six years later, her new island is sacked by pirates and she is the sole survivor. Alone with only her Medusa figurine, she reinvents herself as Princess Callisto when Menelaus, great king of Sparta, lands with his men. He takes her back to Sparta with him where Helen, his beautiful wife, does not believe that the red-headed child is Princess Callisto. Although fearful of the half-mortal, half-goddess Helen, Anaxandra is able to stay out of harm’s way—until the Trojan princes Paris and Aeneas arrive. Paris and Helen’s fascination with each other soon turns to passion and plunges Sparta and Troy into war. Can Anaxandra find the courage to reinvent herself once again, appease the gods, and save herself?

In Caroline B. Cooney’s epic tale of one girl’s courage and will to survive, Anaxandra learns that home is where you make it and identity goes deeper than just your name.

From the Hardcover edition.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Amazon

The dramatic and bloody siege of Troy is one of the oldest and best of human stories, and in Goddess of Yesterday Caroline Cooney tells it afresh through the eyes of Anaxander, the daughter of the king of a tiny Greek island. As a child she is taken as a hostage to the island of King Nicander. When she is 13, marauding pirates sack the palace, killing everyone but her. Anaxander frightens them off by pretending to be the goddess Medusa, with the help of an octopus as a hairdo. When she is rescued by the ships of King Menalaus, she assumes the identity of a princess, Nicander's daughter, and becomes a royal guest. When Menalaus's cold and vain wife, Helen, runs off to Troy with her lover, Paris, Anaxander goes along to protect Helen's baby son. Within the walls of Troy, she is torn with conflicting loyalties as the bronze-clad warriors of Menalaus land their ships on the plains below the city and war is imminent.

The characters of the Iliad come vividly alive in this action-filled novel: the shallow and amoral Paris, the wailing prophetess Cassandra in her tower prison, and especially Hector, a big, straight-talking sweetheart. Fans of Cooney's contemporary novels like The Face on the Milk Carton will find this story of ancient Greece every bit as irresistible. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter; The Face on the Milk Carton) turns her considerable talent to a classical subject the prelude to the Trojan War. The cherished daughter of the chief of a tiny, nameless island in the Aegean, Anaxandra is taken as hostage by King Nicander, and brought to his home as companion to his daughter Callisto. When pirates attack Nicander's island, Anaxandra the lone survivor is taken in by King Menelaus of Sparta, who believes she is the Princess Callisto. In the court of Menelaus and his gorgeous but cruel wife, Helen, Anaxandra has a heart-poundingly immediate view of the shocking events set in motion when Paris, a handsome prince of Troy, comes to pay a visit. Spirited off to Troy itself in place of Helen's daughter Hermione, Anaxandra plays a small but crucial role in the first few days of an epic war and makes peace, at last, with her stolen identity. Cooney's trademark staccato narrative style gives the proceedings a breathless urgency, and if her telling lacks the grandeur of AdŠle Geras's Troy, for example, her gift for adopting the voices of adolescent girls results in a compulsively readable story and may well lead readers to other Greek myths. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative. Jan. 2 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Cooney has built a creatively-imagined tale based on the well-known story of the Trojan War.

Her main character in this novel, Anaxandra/Callisto/Hermione, fits well into the genre of the "strong female lead" YA heroine. Cooney's version of the story, while fresh and a bit cheeky, is ultimately predictable - we "get it" early on that our heroine has defied convention by carrying on with her tomboy ways, that she is an inspiration to the more sedate princesses she is paired with, and that her unbreakable spirit will triumph in the end...she even conveniently finds true love and a neutral zone to survive the downfall of Troy.

Something I quite enjoyed about this fast but engaging read were the depictions of Helen and Paris. Helen is completely without empathy, a self-centered, bored beauty who walks away from husband and children without a second glance. Paris is without merit as well, having used his physical beauty to slide through life, the penultimate spoiled rich kid, grabbing whatever he likes and counting on his strong family connections to protect him from the consequences of his actions. We know how he will meet his end if we've ever read the Illiad, and we quietly applaud the nasty fate that awaits him - something Cooney does not include in this story, which ends in the very early stages of the War.

Cassandra and Hector, and for that matter Menelaus, Priam and many others, were well-handled and described in Cooney's tale to add credibility to her story.

Yes, Cooney has taken many liberties with the "classic" Homerian Fall of Troy saga.
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Anaxandra is the only daughter of the chieftain of a small, unnamed island in the Aegean Sea. When she is just six years old, she is taken as a hostage by Nicander, king of Siphnos. She ends up being companion and friend to his crippled daughter Callisto. Six years later, Siphnos is raided by pirates, and Anaxandra is the only survivor. When Menelaus, king of Sparta, stops his fleet of ships at Siphnos to investigate, Anaxandra lies to save herself. She takes on the identity of the dead princess Callisto. Menelaus takes her home with him to his palace, where she befriends his children, in particular his daughter Hermoine and his baby son Pleis. But she is also terrified by his wife Helen, who knows the truth, that Anaxandra is not Callisto. When Helen runs off with her lover, Prince Paris of Troy, and determines to bring her two younger children along, Anaxandra disguises herself and goes in Hermoine's place, to save her friend, and protect Pleis. She manages to get herself and the baby safely to Troy -- where a great war is about to begin, and they are in more danger then ever before. I absolutely loved this book, and I highly recommend it book to young adult readers with an interest in the Trojan War, or Greek mythology in general. Anaxandra is a wonderful character, and her narrative brings the world of Ancient Greece and Troy to life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Truly I have been Lucky in my Kings" May 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There is a huge range of novels out there concerning the Trojan War and the men and women whose lives were changed by the great event - so many books in fact, that it is difficult to find one that doesn't feel stale and predictable (after all, no author can really make shocking twists and turns in a war whose outcome is already known). Like books concerning the King Arthur legends, the Trojan War as a subject for a book is rapidly becoming dull.
So it is refreshing to find now and again a book that deals with this subject, and is actually *interesting*, suspenseful and surprisingly good. Such is Caroline B. Cooney's "Goddess of Yesterday". Although all of the mythological details and events of the War are correct (at least as far as I could see), the author brings new personalities to well-known characters, thoughtful insights on blasphemy and the nature of gods, and a likeable young heroine that blends so easily into the events leading up to the War that one might be surprised not to find her mentioned in ancient sources!
Anaxandra is the beloved daughter of a chieftain father in a small rocky isle, taken away from her home and family as a tribute/hostage of King Nicander, who places her in his own household as a companion to his own crippled daughter Princess Callisto. Despite homesickness, Anaxandra adjust to her new life, only to have it shattered once more by pirates who plunder Siphnos. Thanks to an ingenious disguise, Anaxandra is the sole survivor, and when the ship bearing King Menelaus pulls in to investigate, she lies to ensure her future: telling the King of Sparta that she is the Princess Callisto.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt March 31 2004
Josh Aaby
This novel is an epic story based on a little girl taken from her family by a king and taken to his homeland. Throughout the novel the young girl, Anaxandra, begins her journey from the moment she steps onto her king's ship (she generally calls all of the kings she ends up living with her own), and her journey ends in a battle of great proportions.
Anaxandra spends most of the story under the name of a fallen princess -Callisto- who is murdered along with her family and kingdom by a band of pirates. She is rescued by another King and that is when the novel's pace begins to quicken and the reader is drawn into a world of love- for child, for man, and for god/goddesses- and also despair and disappointment.
The novel is set in the time of the Trojans and visits kingdoms including among others. This is a novel to be enjoyed by many people in various age groups in that it could be both a love story and an adventure. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to try something new, and who knows? Maybe somebody else will like it also. It was a big surprise to me that I found it so interesting.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
This is the best book! It gets you hooked and you can't stop. If you love: adventure,history,courage, or fate THIS is your book. Its about Anaxandra. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Hermiones review
This story is told by Anaxandra, a sialors daughter who was tooken hostage at age six. She becomes the playmate of King Nicander's daughter Callisto. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by Hermione
5.0 out of 5 stars ~GREAT BOOK~
I really enjoyed GODDESS OF YESTEREDAY because it was written in a form that really was interesting to me. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Characterizations and detail to setting are wonderful
A whole new view of Helen of Troy, the woman whose face launched a thousand ships, is delivered through the eyes of Anaxandra, a sailor's daughter masquerading as a princess after... Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2003 by Elizabeth S. Gallaway
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Goddess of Yesterday"
"Goddess of Yesterday" is clearly one of the best books ever written. The way the author perceived Helen was how I imagined her to be. Read more
Published on July 17 2003 by Rosie
4.0 out of 5 stars A great story
I just loved this book! I have been a fan of Caroline B. Cooney's for years ever since I read Face on the Milk Carton and this is just another great story. Read more
Published on June 29 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Am I the only one?
How can any respectable person like this book? The inaccuracies are numerous and laughable. The author giving Helen four children is sickening. Read more
Published on May 21 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and compelling recreation of Troy
Caroline Cooney could make me enjoy her version of a phone book but I particularly applaud this cleverly written novel of ancient Troy. Read more
Published on March 20 2003 by CLM
5.0 out of 5 stars Troy and Sparta from a young girl's point of view
Anaxandra, the female heroine of the story, tells from her point of view about the clash between the Trojans and the Spartans, when Paris of Troy went to Sparta and kidnapped King... Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2003 by sandy807
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