Title: Olympus, Texas
Author: Stacey Swann
Publication Date: 8th July 2021
When March Briscoe returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother’s wife, the Briscoe family becomes once again the talk of the small town of Olympus. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with open arms: her husband’s own past affairs have made her tired of being the long-suffering spouse. Is it, perhaps, time for a change?
But within days of March’s arrival, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and even the strongest of alliances are shattered. In the end, the ties that hold the Briscoes together might be exactly what drag them all down.
An expansive tour de force, Olympus, Texas combines the archetypes of Greek and Roman mythology with the psychological complexity of a messy family. After all, at some point, we all wonder: what good is this destructive force we call love?
I’m a huge mythology nerd so any connection to the Greek and Roman myths, even a subtle one, intrigues me and I really liked the nods throughout the book to the gods, goddesses and myths! The story of Olympus, Texas follows the dysfunctional Briscoe family, who are mired in drama and confrontation. When March Briscoe, who fled Olympus after his affair with his brother’s wife was exposed, returns after a two year absence to face the music (or rather his family) things get messy.
Families are always a fantastic subject to read about because no two are alike and each have their own particular set of issues. The Briscoe family possibly has more than most. There’s quite a big cast of characters but the author deals with them skilfully and gives each of them a unique voice. I enjoyed the interplay between these very different people and the way the family alliances become clear. The story takes place over a short space of time – interspersed throughout with interesting sort of interludes that take us back to the origins of certain characteristics of the family members or of significant events. Things do occasionally tip a little into the melodramatic but Greek and Roman mythology is chock full of melodrama so it sort of works here. Overall – Olympus, Texas is an assured and compelling exploration of the many ways that families can hurt and heal each other.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.