If books could be jams in 1992, this was my 4th grade jam all the way. My 9 year old mind was completely captivated by this book. It was in high demand for check out time from the school library. Me and my best friend, Arlenne, pretty much competed over who got to keep the damn thing.
My favorite story was the myth of Persephone. Hades falls in love with her, kidnaps her and holds her in the underworld of the dead against her will while attempting to make her his queen. She refuses to eat the food of the dead because that would condemn her to remain in the underworld forever. Pomegranate seeds come into play and Persephone must return to the underworld for one month per seed she consumed while she was held captive.
After reading this, I demanded to know how pomegranate seeds tasted. The bright red clusters still fascinate me and I always relate this story to biblical Eve's temptation, which also fascinates me to no end. I once watched a cable TV special that made mention that the geographical location of the Garden of Eden meant the forbidden fruit was less likely an apple and more likely a pomegranate. I can't help but make connections between pomegranates, loss of innocence and spiritual undoing. Future post on that to come.
My second favorite story was probably about the birth of Venus. The goddess of love and beauty emerged from sea foam in an open shell. The bright imagery of that alone left a colorful imprint on my mind.
I purchased my very own copy of D'Aulieres' Book of Greek Mythology in 2007 when I was hired as a part-time reading tutor to elementary aged kids. It was a big deal for me to spend over twenty bucks on a book at the time, but this one brings back so many good memories. I spent hours reading and re-reading these stories. Every now I still read them and I hope my daughter can hold off on ripping the pages so she can enjoy them one day, too.