Reviews

Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff

thereaderofbooks's review against another edition

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2.0

I couldn't get into the style of writing or story. Maybe I am distracted right now?

cdimond63's review against another edition

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2.0

I had troubles with most of this book. Cant stand the characters nor their interactions and hate the writing style....abandoned

katieladyreads's review against another edition

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3.0

Was disappointed

clairewords's review against another edition

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3.0

The first half is about Lotto (nickname for Lancelot), a man cruising through life without looking back, the very few times he does, he realises how alone he really is. It is not a pleasant feeling, it is one he wishes to drown in whatever is to hand - in his boarding school that feeling nearly did kill him, but then he discovered girls, a never-ending supply of them, that worked - then he met Mathilde and she provoked in him such a strong feeling, he made her his wife, she was all the girl he wanted and needed and she appeared to need him as much as he needed her. She was hungry for him too.

He never acknowledges his own role in creating the circumstance that lead to his isolation, his mother in order to keep him out of trouble, after a serious incident in his early teens to do with a girl and a fire, sends him away to school. It's a separation that will endure, for Lotto will never return, nor will he make any gesture or voice any words whatsoever towards his mother.

School is not good, as he lurches from suicidal to promiscuous to married at 22-years-old and pursuing a struggling acting career which morphs with Mathilde's help into writing plays for theatre. Mathilde supports him, seemingly without complaint, he refers to her often physically, narrating his life as series of sexual encounters with his wife.

After all the parties, making up for his lack of professional success, he becomes absorbed by his writing and develops an obsession for a young musician, a turning point in the relationship between he and his wife.

And so to Furies, in which we encounter Mathilde and discover that this marriage seen through the lens of the wife, is something quite different, naturally she has had a different upbringing, raised in the north of France and separated from her family at a young age due to an unforgiveable act.

Mathilde eventually comes to America and lives under circumstances that ensure she must be damaged mentally, no one could live what she did without being affected by it, she learns at a young age to conceal her reactions and emotions.

Ultimately, the novel illustrates the secrets and lies and deceptions of marriage or of any relationship, the fact that as humans, we guard certain things about ourselves and we never truly know each other, or what each other is thinking, not just because of this propensity to conceal, but due to varying degrees of narcissism. Sigmund Freud believed that some narcissism is an essential part of all of us from birth, while Andrew Morrison claims that a reasonable amount of healthy narcissism allows the individual's perception of their needs to be balanced in relation to others. So we all have it!

I enjoyed the first half because I started to imagine the big surprise we were going to get when we got inside Mathilde's story. I didn't care much for the character of Lotto, he wasn't a creation that I could relate to, though I was easily able to put that aside, in anticipation of what was to come.

It's a novel of marriage, but it's no Anne Tyler, it's not realism, they're the stories of two characters, whose lives are far-fetched, and when they intersect, are used to illustrate a number of points. Unfortunately, I kind of lost interest in Mathilde's story which drew me away from the kind of reflection I was imagining. It's a book in which readers fall into two diametrically opposed camps.

Quite honestly, I don't know what it was telling us, maybe something about the randomness or otherwise of who we hook up with, the dependency that develops. I just wish the characters had been a little more ordinary.

There is a short book/analysis of Fates and Furies written by BookaDay in which it is said:

Fates and Furies is not a story about a marriage – it is a story about two people and how their marriage determines the trajectory of their lives.

fanniemakes's review against another edition

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2.0

Never having read any of Lauren Groff’s other works I chose this book because it was available at my library through the Libby app. I listened to the audio version and I’m glad I did otherwise I don’t know that I would have made it beyond the first few chapters.

This book was just middle of the road for me when it was all said and done. Split into Lotto’s and Mathilde’s POV I can safely say that I enjoyed Mathilde’s POV significantly more. Most of the first half of the book moved at a glacial pace with an absurd amount of he said/she said detail that personally I think could have been edited down a tad.

dshao's review against another edition

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5.0

Insanely clever.

noiriste's review against another edition

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3.0

I get what sets people off about this book now: the language is gorgeous, it aims for high brow, but the story and characters are something straight out of dollar bin sex thrillers: the troubled but heroic man and the sociopathic woman who seduces him and is able to fool everyone save for that fatal slip-up. It's so sensational it stretches the meat of the story beyond belief.

Overall it is also an exhausting book that made me feel slightly ill, and I had to stop every now and then to heal my soul lol.

jenn_queer_librarian720's review against another edition

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3.0

More like 3 and a half stars.

spazk27's review against another edition

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1.0

Listening to audio book and I made it to 27% but now I'm done. I just can't get into these characters. The flow is terrible. I don't even understand what's going on most of the time. This one is not for me.

ashleylorelle's review against another edition

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1.0

Did not finish. The writing was engrossing and magical and really sucked me in at times. But the characters were so vapid and unlike able that I wasn't interested in their story. Usually I can read a book a week but at three weeks I'm still only part way through the book. I'm simply not interested in the story or the characters.