A review by purplemuskogee
Matrix, by Lauren Groff

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


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.