Today’s book is a young adult retelling of the Greco-Roman myth of Cupid and Psyche.
The story in a nutshell: beautiful, mortal girl Psyche falls in love with Cupid, the god of love. Cupid, having never been in love himself, doesn’t trust Psyche’s feelings for him and makes stupid demands. Psyche in turn makes a dumb mistake, and they break up. Jealous mother/goddess puts girl through several tests, and just when you think she’ll make it, it looks like she won’t. But Cupid shows up at the last minute and saves the day. They live happily ever after.
Hmmm, that sounds like quite a few romance books I’ve read.
What makes Julius Lester’s book so appealing is the playful narrator who speaks directly to the reader and provides commentary on why people are behaving as they are. His lessons on love are insightful for readers of all ages. I particularly liked his observation at the end:
The interesting thing about this story is that it taught me that sometimes I act like Cupid and sometimes I act like Psyche. Stories don’t much care who’s male and who’s female, because everybody has a little of both inside them. That why this story and my story and your story, well, they’re all the same story.”
The audiobook, read by actor Stephen McKinley Henderson, is delightful. I could listen to Henderson’s rich, rumbly voice read the phone book and be happy. Needless to say, his narration of Cupid had me hanging on every word of the story.
Check the WRL catalog for Cupid
Check the WRL catalog for the audiobook of Cupid