Book #26 toward the 100 Books in 2010 Challenge is RADIANT DARKNESS by Emily Whitman (Greenwillow, 2009). The story will be familiar to anyone with a nodding acquaintance with Greek mythology. Persephone is the daughter of Demeter, goddess of grain and growth. The mother-daughter relationship is strained. Perspehone wishes to be viewed as more than a child. Demeter wishes to keep her daughter young. So, it is no surprise when Persephone decides to keep secret the man she has seen in the vale. She runs off to meet him day after day, attracted to his quiet strength and his ability to listen to her. Eventually, she learns he is Hades, god of the dead. Despite that, she agrees to go away with him.
In this retelling and reimagining of the myth, Whitman has taken the archetypes of mythology and extended them and their story. Surely, Persephone's frustrations with her mother are ones that will resonate with many readers. The tug-of-war that exists between childhood and adulthood, that time known as adolescence, is familiar territory even though the terrain of the Underworld may seem a bit foreign.