Blurb: Want to break free from what’s holding you back? Channel the Norse warrior goddess Freyja. Feeling stressed? Turn to the playful Japanese goddess Uzume for a superheroine superboost. Tired of being nice? Meet the Irish goddess The Morrígan, a regal renegade who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. In this irreverent guide, these fierce and fantastic deities will help you to stop apologising, keep your cool, embrace your body and get what you are owed.
Title: You Goddess!
Authors: E Foley and B Coates
Illustrator: Georgia Perry
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Genre: Non-Fiction, Historical, Essays, Self Help
Need some advice on how to live your best life? Why not take it from the world’s most incredible ladies, goddesses! Take a walk through the adventures of some of the most amazing women in mythology and see what you can learn to make your life a little better.
There are a lot of things that I really enjoyed about this book but my favourite thing has to be the range of goddesses that were included here. We’re not isolated to Ancient Greece and Rome but instead are transported all over the world from Japan to Scotland and Indonesia to Greenland. This book really opened my eyes to all sorts of mythologies that I’d never heard of or know much about which is great if you’re looking to dip your toe into reading something historical and discovering something new. I also loved the life lessons that were picked out in these essays. It wasn’t just things like how to stand up for yourself or saying no (which are included, and are undoubtedly great advice) but we also got to see how to make your own luck and enjoy the single life. There really is something in here for any woman, regardless of your age or situation. I also feel like I should point out the humility of the authors. In the introduction (and at several points throughout the book) we’re reminded that they’re writing from a place of white privilege and relaying stories that aren’t theirs. I felt that this acknowledgement was a way of giving a nod to the culture that the tales belong to while also continuing to spread the wisdom they entail. Despite speaking from the same perspective as the authors myself, I thought this was a lovely touch and really drives home the point of how important these stories are to different cultures and that we should be mindful of appropriation vs. appreciation.
I also want to note just how much I loved the illustrations! Each goddess that’s featured in this book gets her own little interpretation, with a modern twist. A particular favourite of mine was Freyja whose illustration really gives me Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds vibes 😎
As for what I disliked, similarly to another book by these authors, What Would Boudicca Do?, I wanted the essays to be a little bit longer. While I can see the benefit of shorter chapters and I do love the satisfaction that comes with finishing them, as a bit of a history buff with an interest in mythology, I would have loved to know more. However, this is a testament to how interesting the essays are and how well they picked the goddesses that they featured. Plus they do include a whole list of source material and further reading for you to check out if you want to!
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mythology and is looking for a light hearted, fun read with some great stories and advice.
Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? I’d love to know!
You can always find me over on Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌