When Puerto Rican ladies’ man Alex awakes one morning to find a mysterious woman in his bed, he assumes he’s suffered another embarrassing blackout. He soon learns, however, that Ava is no one-night stand–in fact, he’s never met her before. As her story begins to unfold, and her reason for appearing in his bed emerges, it is not just Alex’s life that she risks, nor her own, but the entire character of the South Bronx . . .
In Greek myth, Alcestis is known as the ideal good wife; she loved her husband so much that she died to save his life and was sent to the underworld in his place. In this poetic and vividly-imagined debut, Katharine Beutner gives voice to the woman behind the ideal, bringing to life the world of Mycenaean Greece, a world peopled by capricious gods, where royal women are confined to the palace grounds and passed as possessions from father to husband. Alcestis tells of a childhood spent with her sisters in the bedchamber where her mother died giving birth to her and of her marriage at the age of fifteen to Admetus, the young king of Pherae, a man she barely knows, who is kind but whose heart belongs to a god. She also tells the part of the story that’s never been told: What happened to Alcestis in the three days she spent in the underworld before being rescued by Heracles? In the realm of the dead, Alcestis falls in love with the goddess Persephone and discovers the true horror and beauty of death.