Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books; F First Edition edition (September 15, 2015)
Rating: 4/10: There were things that I liked about this book, and I guess I get what all of the fuss is about, but I didn’t love it.
Amazon Book Description: 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.
Reading Sara Review: When a book has a lot of hype, I am hesitant to read it – but more often than not, I end up loving it, and glad that the accolades brought me a great read. And this book has received A LOT of hype – just google it. Unfortunately, I did not feel that way about Fates and Furies. I thought that the writing was good, the story written in a creative and untraditional way, but I did not feel for the characters in the way that I usually do. I did not care for the storyline. There are some plot twists and surprises in the second half, but they did not move me or emotionally involve me enough with the characters to feel anything besides wanting to finish this super dense and long book.
I had not read Groff’s work before this book but heard that her prose was incredible from the many reviews. I thought her characters were a little pretentious and too (dare I say) hipster for my taste. The extremely long time span of the story was supposed to make the reader further invested when instead it just made the characters feel out of reach and in an alternate world.
There were good parts of the book for me. Mainly, the concept to split the story into two halves, one told from Lotto’s perspective, and one from Mathilde’s perspective kept the story interesting. There were surprises and mysteries to be solved, certainly. I do not think that the story would have been as attention-grabbing had she not written it in this format. I think that the male vs. female reality that she exposes we can learn from – and how others perceive us vs. how we perceive ourselves.
Honestly, there were better books that came out in 2015. But, this book has received many, many accolades and some people loved it – so I give it a 4/10 on my new rating scale. Not for me, but maybe you will like it.