In A Nutshell

  • Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Chick-Lit, Parallel Universe
  • Notes: My favorite of the entire series.
  • Recommended for: P.C. Cast fans, and those who love a good Greek mythology/contemporary crossover.
If you thought you knew the story of Persephone and Hades, think again . . . This was the first P.C. Cast book I ever read. I remember that it was the only one of this series, at the time, that jumped out at me as interesting. There’s one book before this in the series, which after reading Goddess of Spring, I went out and read Goddess of the Sea, and the rest of this series. But for me, none beat Goddess of Spring, for me.
As a fan of greek mythology, and renaissance/baroque art (which often deals with these stories) I have always been fascinated by the Persephone/Hades story. For those of you who don’t know it:
        Hades, Lord of the Underworld, fell in love (possibly as a result of one of Eros’ arrows) and kidnapped Persephone by opening the earth beneath her. In the process a few pigs also fell down in the hole. The swineherd, Triptolemus, was a witness to the abduction. Hades convinced Persephone to eat the food of the underworld, the seeds of the pomegranate. Once done, she could never fully leave the underworld. In some accounts, she stayed with Hades of her own free will.

Source.

But if you are expecting to read this and get your average retelling of greek mythology–you’d be wrong. The premise for this book is:
To save her failing bakery, Lina trades souls with Persephone, the Goddess of Spring–and starts falling for hunky Hades.

Ok this premise is shite – but it gets the point across. Goddess of Spring isn’t about Persephone and Hades, so much as Persephone’s body inhabited by a modern mortal, Carolina, and Hades.

What I find, after having read several of Cast’s novels but most specifically in this one, is that her books flow very easily and I’m able to picture them like movies in my head. They are a fun jaunt into ancient Greece (or whatever mythology she chooses for that specific book.)

Cast chooses a specific kind of character in this book that I found very refreshing from your average romances.
Carolina Santoro, is a 43 year-old divorcee who is struggling to keep her bakery open, when Demeter answers her prayers and says she’ll send her daughter, Persephone, to the modern world to rejuvenate her bakery if Carolina agrees to go in Persephone’s form to the Underworld and represent the goddess to the dead. Carolina agrees, desperate to save her bakery and fascinated with this old world magic.

While down there Carolina befriends the surly, mercurial, “batman-like” Hades. Hades is distrustful of the rest of the gods of Olympus, having experienced their judgement for consorting with the dead, and his understanding of mortals.

This book doesn’t shy away from the age-factor that many readers find unattractive in romance novels. There’s some unspoken preference for books about 20-30 year old women, but the age of the man really only needs to be under his mid-50s. It’s really unfair and completely unrealistic. This sort of preference makes people assume that after 40 women are permanently on the shelf– but that’s bull.

Carolina, stuck in a young goddess’ body and still heartbroken from a failed marriage (where her husband left her for a younger woman), finds a kinship with Hades, disillusioned moody God who’s one attempt at love ended tragically.

The best part about this book is it literally never dragged. I was interested and fascinated the entire time. Cast does an excellent job of building the tension and the angst, and the fun.

My only criticism is that it if you have a low-mush tolerance, then parts of this book are going to make your eyes roll. But if you like some fluff in your life you will find it all you hoped for.

This has become one of my all-time go-to books. And I completely recommend this book for those of us out there who enjoy a cross-over story.

★★★★★

Advertisements