Reviews

Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff

sbooksbowm's review

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

5.0

mhreads's review

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challenging dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes

4.25

jenhm's review against another edition

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4.0

Engrossing. Gone Girl* gone better.

*hated it

chidseyca's review against another edition

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4.0

The mark of a good author is when all the characters are despicable but you're still entranced.

feifeii's review against another edition

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

3.75

I struggled quite a bit in the first part The Fates. I am glad that I hung in there and once it got to the second part Furies the pace and the narrative picked up and gets more intriguing. 
Overall this book is about marriage and the last chapter (three-page long only) sums it up and it’s the best chapter. 

”… More than the highlights, the bright events, it was in the small and the daily where she‘d found life… These silent intimacy is made the marriage, not the ceremonies or parties or opening nights or occasions or a spectacular fucks.”

“She wished she’d been the kind Mathilde, the good one. His idea of her. She would have looked smiling down at him; she would have heard beyond Marry me to the world that spun behind the words. There would have been no pause, no hesitation. She would have laughed, touched his face for the first time. Felt his warmth in the palm of her hand. Yes, she will have said. Sure. “

greenblack's review

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

3.75

erikawynn's review against another edition

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5.0

Everyone has been telling me to read "Fates and Furies" and I'm very glad I did! I knew there was a big twist but there was so much more depth in that twist than I was expecting. I loved Mathilde and Groff's writing and will probably be rereading this one before too long.

jwiebe's review against another edition

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1.0

Worst book of 2016? Worst book of 2016.

gweiswasser's review against another edition

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3.0

Full review at: http://everydayiwritethebookblog.com/2015/10/fates-and-furies-by-lauren-groff/

FATES AND FURIES is one of those books where the less you know about it going in, the better, but OMG I want to talk and talk about this book with anyone who has read it.

I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum.

Fates and Furies is basically two books in one. Both are about the marriage of Lancelot “Lotto” Satterwhite and his wife, Mathilde Yoder. One half is told from Lotto’s perspective, and the other from Mathilde’s. The first half, Lotto’s side, is about his deep, deep love for Mathilde, his failed acting career, his brilliant playwriting career, and the friends and family in the couple’s orbit during the course of the marriage. Despite the early death of his father and his mother’s estrangement, Lotto was born under a lucky star (Fates). People are naturally drawn to him, and after his early professional failures, his success skyrockets. Most of all, he – a born womanizer – is devoted to his wife Mathilde, whom he believes to be the purest, most honest women he’s ever known. He’s faithful to her to the end.

(SORT OF SPOILER-Y – proceed with caution) The second half of the book is told from Mathilde’s perspective, and what a change in perspective it is. Mathilde loves Lotto fiercely and purely, but beyond that, she is not the person he believes her to be. I found her to be one of the most interesting and disturbing characters I’ve ever come across in a book. The twists and machinations that Groff unspools in the second half of Fates and Furies are breathtaking. Mathilde is a deeply damaged and angry woman (Furies), and I have deep appreciation for Groff’s ability to conjure her up. I certainly couldn’t have.

So there are really two books to review here. I found the first to be a little tedious. I skimmed through some of the chapters about Lotto’s plays, and I ultimately found him tiresome. He’s self-absorbed and lives in a kind of old-fashioned world where he doesn’t have to focus on quotidian details like bills or cooking. Maybe it was the audio version that did it, but I was also annoyed by his Southern drawl and theatrical delivery. This was likely all intentional – Groff setting up the counterpoint of Lotto’s openness and idealism with Mathilde’s secrecy. The second half of the book was the thrill for me, hands down. I couldn’t get enough of it.

I’ve read a bunch of reviews of this book that describe Fates and Furies as the story of a marriage and the secrets and passions two people hide from each other over the years. Uh, no. This is not a typical marriage! Neither one is a typical spouse, and Mathilde’s machinations are (I hope) rare among loving unions. This is really more about two different worlds created and inhabited by two very different people who also happen to be in love.

bmedvid's review against another edition

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3.0

This book was under discussion as a possible choice for our book club this year. We decided against it, but I had heard enough about it that I wanted to read it anyway. After finishing it, I was of two minds about it. So my three stars is more of a neutral rating than an "I liked it" rating.

I did not like the characters or story. I can see why many people stopped or wanted to stop reading this book. Lotto was to self-centered, self-involved, and narcisstic for my taste. His wife, Mathilde, was at best just plain mean, but at worst a psychopath. I kept reading the book hoping for some growth in their characters or redemption. I did not feel that it came.

However, having said that, Lauren Groff did develop the characters and I learned more about each one of them throughout the entire book. I enjoyed the two perspectives of the same marriage. I think that aspect of the book would have made an outstanding discussion for our book club. We also have the best discussions when not everyone likes the book. I definitely think that would have been the case with this book.

So overall, I am sorry our club did not opt for this book as I think it would have been a great discussion. As for reading it alone, I did not like and if I had a do-over, I would not read it.