Melanie Dugan is a retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone. I have never heard of the story. All I know about Greek mythology is that Zeus was the top God and he was married to Hera. In a nutshell, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, who was the goddess of agriculture and fertility. Persephone is later abducted by Hades, god of the underworld. So many ways to go with this story.
Dead Beautiful aims to humanize this story and make it more relatable to a modern audience. Take away the Greek elements and this was your typical family drama. The book takes a good look at the close bond between mothers and daughters.
Persephone wants to create her own path, but her mother has other ideas. Demeter wants Persephone to marry Darryl, the god of home repairs. Then and now, Darryl is a "good catch." Darryl is the type of man you can bring home to mom and dad, even if they happen to be powerful Gods. Demeter wants to be involved in every aspect of Persephone's life, while Zeus is more concerned with his marriage to Hera and someone named Jesus trying to steal his thunder. Persephone's needs and wants are Demeter's problem not Zeus. Living on Mount Olympus, he is far removed from Demeter and Persephone's problems on earth.
Persephone feels no attraction to Darryl. Hades has piqued her interest. Being the god of the underworld, Hades has developed a bad reputation. But is it all true? Does anyone really want to know Hades? Persephone does, she sees beyond all the gossip. She is attracted to Hades, but Persephone has to want to go with him. Hades won't force Persephone against her will. When Persephone chooses Hades, no one wants to believe that. Why would she abandon her family? What can Hades offer Persephone that Darryl can't? Love.
Reading this book, I saw it as a mother who couldn't let go. Persephone is no longer a child but a young woman, something her parents, especially Demeter, refuse to see. She has opinions independent of her mother and father. She won't hate Hades simply because they do. Demeter just isn't ready to let go, like most parents. Give this one a try, I'm sure you'll see your family members in a lot of these characters.
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book from the author as part of a tour with TLC Book Tours.