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Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
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Fates and Furies (2015)

by Lauren Groff

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1,7181334,132 (3.59)183
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Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
Pretty depressing book with some lovely writing in parts. Interesting take on a 24 year marriage from the split viewpoint of the parties involved. ( )
  CarynPic | Nov 14, 2017 |
This is probably more like 3.5 stars if I want to split hairs.

I loved the writing - the descriptions of the every day aspects of a partnership over the long term, the emotions, the impressionistic sense of place and time. I couldn't put it down because of these things.

The second half through me for a loop though. The massive amounts of secrets and decades-long vendettas that appeared here didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story (or what I liked about it, anyway). I appreciated that the tale was told from two points of view, but would have found it more powerful if it had stuck with the more ordinary secrets and withholdings of a life - or possibly even more than ordinary (Groff could have utilized one dramatic thing from Mathilde's life instead of half a dozen) - but the plot turned into some unnecessary "Gone Girl" -esque shit that felt really out of place to me. ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
"Fates and Furies" is the story of the marriage of outgoing charmer Lancelot (Lotto) Satterwhite and the reserved, supportive Mathilde. Infused with Greek mythology, the story is told first from Lotto’s point-of-view before switching to Mathilde’s. As compelling as each perspective is, it’s the gaps between the two and the secrets kept that provide additional depth to the novel and raise thought-provoking questions about marriage, intimacy, and love. Readers will be drawn in by complex characters, beautiful writing, and a carefully constructed story. Fans of Jane Smiley and Karen Russell are likely to enjoy this book. The themes explored shared common ground with Gillian Flynn’s "Gone Girl", so fans of that book may appreciate this one in terms of them; however, the tone and style of "Fates and Furies" are very different. I listened to the audiobook, which is also highly recommended.

Rachel H. / Marathon County Public Library
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  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
There are 2 parts to this book. Part 1 is good. Part 2 is great. ( )
  sarahy531 | Aug 16, 2017 |
This took some work for me to finish. I gave up on it a few times but worked through it and the end made it all worth it. ( )
  readingwithmandy | Jul 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
‘Fates and Furies,’’ Lauren Groff’s pyrotechnic new novel, tells the story of a marriage and of marriage writ large. It is also an exploration of character — good, evil, flat, round, genetic, forged by circumstance, all of the above — and a wild play upon literary history. Groff grafts the contemporary fiction of suburban anomie and New York manners onto künstlerroman, myth, and epic in a dazzling fusion of classic and (post)modern, tragedy and comedy.
 
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 novel tells the story of Lotto and Mathilde Satterwhite. He is the darling of a prosperous Florida family – “Lotto was special. Golden”. She, an apparent “ice princess”, is the survivor of a past about which her husband has only the fuzziest idea beyond it being “sad and dark”, and above all “blank behind her”. The first half of the book offers Lotto’s view of their life together as he rises from charming but failed actor to celebrated playwright, thanks in no small part to Mathilde’s editorial finesse. The second half reveals that Mathilde has, through implacable willpower, transcended circumstances that read like a hotchpotch of Greek tragedy, fable and detective novel. Much of what Lotto takes for granted in his good fortune, it turns out, is due to Mathilde’s ruthless machination, right down to their marriage itself. She genuinely loves him, but she initially set out to win him for mercenary reasons.
 
Lotto’s story is fairly plausible, a life that might transpire in the world the rest of us inhabit; Mathilde’s story contains more outlandishly fictional twists than those of David Copperfield, The Goldfinch’s Theo Decker, and Becky Sharp combined.
 
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A thick drizzle from the sky, like a curtain's sudden sweeping.
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Hot milk of a world, with its skin of morning fog in the window.
In her sleep her eyelids were so translucent that he always thought if he looked hard, he could see her dreams pulsing like jellyfish across her brain.
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"From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia, 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"--… (more)

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