Fates and Furies
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A FINALIST FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
NPR MORNING EDITION BOOK CLUB PICK
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, TIME, THE SEATTLE TIMES, MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, SLATE, LIBRARY JOURNAL, KIRKUS, AND MANY MORE
“Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers – with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.” —The New York Times Book Review (cover review)
“Elaborate, sensual...a writer whose books are too exotic and unusual to be missed."—The New York Times
“Fates and Furies is a clear-the-ground triumph.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post
From the award-winning, New York Times- bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia, one of the most anticipated books of the fall: an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception.
Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation.
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.
At 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. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.
From the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Enthralling, Tragic, and Beautifully Written
Seldom do I take the time to write these, even for books I enjoy, but this one definitely deserved it. Groff manages to turn the often overlooked ideal of marriage and transform it into something that borders epic, drawing parallels to some of the greatest Greek tragedies (of which Groff is a contemporary if there ever was one). Lotto and Mathilde's marriage is so ordinary, and this very idea is what makes it and them so inherently exceptional and fascinating. If this wasn't enough already, Groff interweaves two very different perspectives that share both tragic paradoxes and nuanced similarities that paint a hauntingly realistic image of the institution that is typically romanticized or condemned. All this combined with a unique prose that rivals that of Fitzgerald or Hemingway, Fates and Furies is a novel that will have you flip back the the first page after finishing the last.
If it takes 250 pages for a story to get a bit interesting, then there is something wrong there. I only had to force myself to go on because this was a book club choice. The first 200 pages was like a torture or a bad homework. The second half was only a LITTLE interesting. I didn't see any worthy issue or new point raised in this whole story for our minds to ponder on. No content worthy of discussion. ☹️
The book reads like the thesis of a double major in lit and creative writing. Groff relies heavily on other works for both content and style. Classical works and Shakespeare show up a lot as well as direct and indirect references to authors like Melville and Nabokov. The beginning of Mathilde’s life is basically an alternative version of ‘A Separate Peace.”
Groff's words are pretty but empty… she is clearly far better at recognizing beautiful language than wielding it. Ultimately, the ideas in this book are not nearly as profound as her language would suggest.