Reviews

Matrix, by Lauren Groff

rcmw22's review

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dark emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

mirk's review

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emotional informative reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

chickiebean_loves_books's review against another edition

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challenging emotional reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

Five things about Matrix by Lauren Groff 2/5⭐️s

1. This just fell really flat for me. I don’t recall having read any Lauren Groff before and now have no plans to read more. 
2. This was the kind of book that gave me the vibe that the author was super stoked by their own creation - to the point that I was never able to forget it was a book and there’s an author. I can’t think of a better way to communicate that vibe than saying the book was conscious of itself. I don’t like books like that. It’s just a personal preference but I prefer quiet brilliance that surprises me to books that seems to proclaim they are brilliant from the start and demand I agree because it’s told me so. I know…I know…this is just a mr thing but it got in my way with this book and that is a problem fir this book. 
3. I kept waiting for Marie de France’s writing life to take center stage. This is what she’s known for. This would have been fascinating to explore. But no. It all comes to her in a dream. Sigh. 
4. Yeah…I didn’t enjoy the writing. I didn’t enjoy the story trajectory. I didn’t connect with the characters. 
5. Simply put - this was not the book for me, I’m confused about the hype it’s getting, and I’m glad I read a library copy instead of purchasing this one only to pass it on to my local Little Free Library. 

purplemuskogee's review

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challenging informative reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

I enjoyed the theme of the book and the premise - Marie 'de France', a 12th century nun and author of lais of which very little is known - and although I really enjoyed Lauren Groff's writing - sparse, lyrical, minimalist -, I feel at times it didn't serve the story and did not help to create a connection with its main character. There are many many ellipsis between Marie's arrival at the abbey at seventeen and her death at seventy-two. She is presented as a sort of superhero - after her death, some nuns call her a saint and recall her achievements with much exageration, and the whole story feels like it is written that way: she moves the abbey from poverty and hunger to wealth and power, builds an amazing labyrinth around it, defends her land... Her personal thoughts and feelings remained quite mysterious and I would have liked to see them explored more deeply: her relationship with other nuns (romantic relationships, professional relationships, etc), her visions (which are described but feel out of place after early pages during which Marie is said not to be very religious and not to believe in God)... It was enjoyable but something was missing.

mobrewpardue's review

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dark emotional reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

  • One of the most satisfying endings in a long time
  • The voice is so character driven while being in third
  • Loved the presence of the visions
  • The pacing felt slow at times but for a book about nuns the story captured the excitement of the work 

emf77's review

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adventurous informative inspiring sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

outsmartyourshelf's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated

2.0

Marie de France related by blood, via an act of violence, to the royal family in twelfth-century England is unmarriageable. Tall & unattractive, when her mother dies, she is sent to England, & banished to a poverty-stricken abbey to be their Prioress. Over time, Marie rises from Prioress to Abbess & brings the abbey wealth & prosperity, but through it all she nurses her secret love for Queen Eleanor who treats her with scorn.

This starts off so well. I read the first couple of chapters & thought that this was going to be one of those books that looks unassuming but delivers. Unfortunately I found that it soon went downhill for me. It seemed to be more & more of the same: Marie receives a vision, commences building work, the other nuns grumble but do the work, money pours in etc. I looked up the history of the real Marie, & not much is known & this could have been so much better.

Thanks to NetGalley & publishers, Random House UK Cornerstone/Heinemann Hutchinson, for the opportunity to read an ARC. I am voluntarily giving an honest review.

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amelie5m's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

gracew's review

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fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

dianawhit's review

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challenging informative mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5