Fates and Furies Hardcover – 17 Sept. 2015
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"Rich, lyrical and rewarding." (Paula Hawkins, author of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN Guardian (Books of the Year))
"A lyrical and, at times, astonishingly beautiful account of how little it is possible to know about those closest to us." (Financial Times)
"Addictive to read ... Groff has drawn a woman so complex it seems that with every chapter a new layer is revealed, each as deliciously intriguing as the next … The result is a compelling portrait of an unconventional marriage across two decades." (Stylist)
"[A] stunning achievement. The plotting is elegant, intricate and assured . . . it will give you much to savour." (Independent)
"Absorbing and beautifully written, this is a riveting study of love, power and creativity." (Sunday Express)
"A truly special novel ... if you haven't read her before, I'm delighted to take the credit for introducing you to one of your new favourite authors." (The Pool)
"A searing exploration of how far a person will go for love, loyalty and revenge." (Time)
"Rare and impressive… Groff has created a novel of extraordinary and genuine complexity…The word “ambitious” is often used as code for “overly ambitious”, a signal that an author’s execution has fallen short. No such hidden message here. 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." (New York Times)
"A book to submit to and be knocked out by." (Meg Wolitzer)
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I’m half-way through the second half, written from Mathilde’s perspective, and I’ve realised that I just don’t care what happens, so am going to give up now. It shouldn’t be such a struggle to enjoy a novel! I’m happy to have the ending told to me at book club so that I can get on with reading something else.
I wish I hadn’t wasted my time buying or reading it. I saw it through to the end because I kept hoping that the was some grain of truth in the good reviews that it had attained. Really baffled
I read a lot of fiction and read this book over 3 years ago, but it is one of three I think back to often. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what I liked so much but essentially I think it is exactly because the characters are baffling and often unlikeable but within the context of the novel - relatable. I was thoroughly moved - I feel my perspective on relationships shifted quite measurably through reading this book.
I was absolutely devastated to finish the book. I have just purchased 2018’s Florida short stories and hope that it doesn’t disappoint after Fates and Furies!
Top international reviews
Both Lotto and Mathilde have challenging early life stories.
Lotto’s mother’s religious fervour and stark opinions cast a dark and ominous shadow. She holds substantial purse strings of the family and holds them tightly, vindictively. When Lotto marries Mathilde, she stops the flow of money. And so Mathilde works to pay the rent while Lotto goes from audition to audition, but rarely getting any work.
The book is split in two. In part one, we get Lotto’s life told from his in a way. Groff shows great craft as she shifts us from one person’s view to another’s, quite skillfully. During one party scene we get to see from everyone’s eyes in the room except Mathilde.
The second half we see the world of Mathilde. A starker, darker world with a past so chock full of misery, it feels forced.
Now, what kind of name is Lotto, huh? It is supposed to be an alternative for “Lance,” but that in itself is hard to believe. I wondered why the suddenly loyalty?
Groff has attempted to establish Lotto as a charismatic, open-hearted character everyone loves. That is a very hard thing for a writer to do. Interesting characters always have their dark sides. Lotto does have his, he was quite the womanizer until he met Mathilde. And in their marriage he is a bit of a leech. But his struggles and challenges were not enough to keep my attention. It took me ages to get through that first half and I don’t really feel I got much for it.
But then we turn to Mathilde. What made her interesting was all the little secrets. But I didn’t like what I learned. Her background itself is a construct, as if the writer sat there thinking, “Hrm, how can I make a bitter, betrayed downtrodden character?”
I had trouble believing she could stay happy in her relationship to him. That she enjoyed carrying the weight of them both. That she didn’t at times resent his years of developing his career. That she didn’t mind that her secret efforts to help his career were seen as his.
I’m left feeling just “meh” about this book. I'd recommend it to writers interested in craft.
A primeira parte é a do marido, e conhecemos uma pessoa radiante, mas, ao mesmo tempo, sufocante, intoxicante. Tudo é sobre ele, ele, ele. Ele é o ponto de fuga da vida de ambos, não dá outra opção à sua mulher – que, na maior parte do tempo, parece confortável com isso. Não é de se estranhar pois estamos vendo com os olhos do rapaz, cujo apelido lembra um jogo de azar, que pode ser exatamente um simbolismo do casamento para a autora.
A segunda parte, é claro, é mais reveladora. Mathilde está longe de ser uma mártir – é pelas lacunas da primeira parte que são cobertas aqui que conhecemos a dimensão real desse casamento.
O título se refere à mitologia grega, e as Fates são três irmãs que determinam os destinos dos homens e deuses; já Furies são criaturas da vingança. Esses são, respectivamente, os títulos das duas partes do romance, e, claramente, estabelecem o tom. Lotto determina o destino do casal; mas é Mathilde quem age e reage. Ainda se referindo ao mundo grego, a autora introduz frases em [colchetes] que soam como um coro de teatro fazendo comentários.
A questão central do livro é a diferença de gêneros e o papel de cada um deles no mundo contemporâneo. Lotto e Mathilde têm visões distintas. Ele é o típico machista que não se dá conta disso, mas ela não é a típica feminista, ou algo parecido, ela só se dá conta do que estrutura seu casamento quando já pode ser tarde demais.
I mean it: literally. It is greatly intriguing to see a love story develop from two standpoints and Lauren Groff's prose is so beautiful and poetic that it's almost unsettling. Will go on to read her entire body of work. Go do yourself a favour and buy this book! :-)
Lui qui semble être un WASP type mais avec plus de failles qu'on ne croit.
Elle dont la véritable personnalité se révèle dans la seconde partie mais bien plus amoureuse qu'on ne pourrait le croire au vu du seul résumé. Sa personnalité est complexe et intrigante.
L'écriture est magnifique, la construction très travaillée. C'est un véritable travail d'écrivain et pas un best seller d'été.
Le niveau d'anglais requis pour le lire en version originale est bon voire un peu plus.
Je recommande absolument.
There were passages though that were hard to get through so that I sped through parts of the book and then stagnated at others.
I do think this book is worth a read.
Definitely a great book to read. Laurent Groff either lived in France or did thorough research because those scenes were spot on. Kudos to my fellow Floridian. Can't wait to read your next book.