Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fates and Furies, May Book

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff tells a the story of a marriage from two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

According to Jason Sheehan in his September 15, 2015 book review for npr, "The book is a master class in best lines; a shining, rare example of that most unforgiving and brutal writer's advice: All you have to do is write the best sentence you've ever written. Then 10,000 more of the best. Then find a way to string them together into the story of something.

 At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. The voice that tells Lotto's half of the tale is dreamy. Mathilde's is rougher, crueler. A Greek chorus chimes in now and then in snarky, bracketed asides, which work beautifully within the architectural construction of Groff's voice.

By the end of Fates And Furies, we have seen both sides, maybe even all sides of Lotto and Mathilde. We've seen the man and the woman behind the man, borne witness to terrible truths brought forth for spite's sake and watched a dark turn to furious vengeance when Mathilde (suddenly, but not at all uncharacteristically) goes full Lady MacBeth and scorches the very earth. We know their secrets. We know their fears."