A review by doggerina
Matrix, by Lauren Groff

3.0

This novel felt like a too long short story or a too short novel. If it was a short story that time cuts and the skipped years would have felt like a device for story telling but in a novel it felt like a lazy way of saying nothing happened that I want to write about so I'm just going to skip years, decades of time where life was dreary and repetitive or it was too complicated to write about so I'm just going to tell you it happened. How did Marie accomplish the things that were accomplished? Must have happened in those missing years of the story... I did find the device of creating her a strong, intelligent, and powerful woman in this time period to be interesting but it was a lot of telling me she accomplished things instead of showing me how she did it which made it feel like an fantasy and not a real thing that happened in her life... Was all of her accomplishment a dream? Did she just write about it and none of it was real...?

The lyrical language was beautiful and that is why I gave the novel three stars, but leaving the one thing that Marie de France is known for, her poetry and writing, as a vague and unfleshed out part of the story is a huge miss for me. From the encyclopedia Britannica: she was the "earliest known French woman poet, creator of verse narratives on romantic and magical themes that perhaps inspired the musical lais of the later trouvères, and author of Aesopic and other fables, called Ysopets."