Title: Fates and Furies
Author: Lauren Groff
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: September 15, 2015
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Every story has two
sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns
out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At
the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents
the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.
age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love,
and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the
envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that
things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed."
My Two Cents:
"Fates and Furies" is the portrait of the marriage between Lotto and Mathilde. They meet as college students and are married within two weeks. For awhile, it is their love story that is the envy of all of their friends. They seem ideally matched for each other. Lotto is a struggling and then not struggling playwright and Mathilde is the ever supportive wife. The first part of the story focuses on Lotto and then everything is turned on its head when the focus shifts to Mathilde. If you can get into this book, you'll be treated to a very crafty story where nothing is as it seems on its face.
This book got a ton of buzz last year and when I first started reading it, I couldn't figure out what the buzz was all about. The story is incredibly dense and you have to pay attention to the little details. I actually went back and dug up some reviews of the book that came out when it was released and there I found a hint: the book is in the style of a Greek play with a chorus present and all. Once I read that, I was set.
The way Groff crafts this book is brilliant. All these small things that seem meaningless at first are pulled back together into something meaningful as the book continues. I was really impressed with how things aligned in the story. This is one of those books where I feel like I need to reread it in order to better understand how things come together and to see if there are more clues that I missed in my first reading!
And wow, Mathilde is quite the character. In the first half of the book, she seems to be at arm's distance from us. She fades into the background mostly as Lotto's career takes off. When the second half of the book comes, prepare to be blown away (no spoilers)! This is a good book - just take the time to be very thorough in your reading in order to reap the benefits of Groff's storytelling.