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Part 3: 'Goddess Interrupted' is the opposite of 'The Goddess Test'

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"Goddess Interrupted"


The ideas Carter had regarding the Greek deities, the immortality of the soul, and the afterlife all change drastically for the worse. She finally answers the question of punishment and reward in the afterlife, only to promote an “unjust” existence where hell fades away and heaven is unequivocally for everyone, good or bad. Ancient and modern “theories” are set aside and the morbid equality found in the process of death is queerly reflected in Carter’s views. The Greek deities so carefully constructed in The Goddess Test are back to the flawed, immoral personalities described by the ancient Greeks: womanizers, unfaithful friends, and a twisted family. Instead of focusing more on the origins of Cronus and the Titans, Carter leaves the god-creates-god aspect a puzzling mystery and dismisses propping her story against a more complex backdrop.

In light of how much she talks about it, Carter equivalently stamps Goddess Interrupted with the topic “sex talks.” Where is the warmth, sincerity, and profound contemplation that made The Goddess Test an enjoyable critique of ancient notions? It’s so disappointing to see her pull down all of her characters, even Kate and Henry. True, Carter never said her gods and goddesses were perfect beings. Nevertheless, now the difference between immortals and mortals is almost unnoticeable, and the deities' respect for morality and virtues in The Goddess Test is turning out to be some sick kind of joke. The author’s decision to break away from Greek mythology by introducing original insight in The Goddess Test rebounds here. It is ironic that while she gained criticism for ignoring basic “truths” about Greek myths, her closer adherence to them in Goddess Interrupted is corrupting what made its predecessor refreshing and unusual. In its place, Carter merely reiterates the nonsensical drivel incorporated into Greek mythology and makes Goddess Interrupted a melodramatic mess of a sequel.

Goddess Interrupted is available in local libraries and bookstores in Fresno, and online.