Monday, 7 March 2016

Review: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Title: Fates and Furies
Author: Lauren Groff
Publisher: William Heinemann
Pages: 391
Genres: Literary Fiction
Fates and Furies

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.
A beautifully written book examining the experience of a marriage for two very different people, Lotto and Mathilde. The book is split into two parts with Lotto's perspective first. I had mixed feelings about Lotto. On the one hand he seemed to have a good heart but on the other, he was so narcissistic and deluded with self grandeur that I wanted to give him a slap. I felt a certain affinity with Mathilde when it came to her perspective and I liked her more than Lotto. Mathilde's story was so compelling and I felt like I could understand her. I loved the little bits of omniscient commentary coming from an unknown narrator that I presumed to be the Fates.

Oh my goodness though, the metaphors. Quite often while reading this book I felt like I was going cross eyed. I found that the plot of the book was too often obscured by the profuse description, metaphors and similes. Don't get me wrong, the writing style is beautiful and poetic but I just got tired of it by the end of the book. It felt very anti climatic, there was a lot of build up that went nowhere for me. I was expecting some shocking reveal but none came. I finished the book feeling kind of despondent. There are many themes echoing Greek tragedies running through this book and it probably was filled with a lot of clever references that went over my head as I am not really well versed in that sort of thing. A nice enough read and I did enjoy it in parts but it was perhaps not quite the book for me.

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