15 September 2015

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Summary from Goodreads:

HA! I'm not posting one (reasons).

So, back when I was moderating Barnes and Noble book discussions online, I was given an opportunity to read an advance copy of a debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, and participate in a discussion with the author, Lauren Groff.

Of course, I said yes.

Unfortunately, I wound up bailing on the book after about 20 pages.  I didn't like the main character, didn't have any patience for her supposed "problem" (I have a rule about sleeping with bosses, mentors, advisees, etc. for good reasons, many of them), and the monster of the title had yet to make an appearance.  When Arcadia appeared a few years ago, I read the blurb and didn't feel inspired to try it out.

Hence, we come to Fates and Furies.  Everyone whose reading tastes I respect read the advances and gushed.  Gushed so much.  And yet no one was really giving reviews or talking about the plot.  Just that the rest of us should read Fates and Furies as soon as possible.

So I took that very good advice, surfed on over to Edelweiss, skipped reading the cover copy, downloaded the DRC, and read the heck out of Fates and Furies while on a plane ride last week.

This is a good book, a minutely observed portrait of a marriage between Lotto and Mathilde and all the ways in which good marriages work and how good marriages can mess up and how spouses can not know or not know each other.  And that is literally all I have to say about the plot, because I think the blurb/summary might give away too much.

What I really loved about this book is the structure.  How and when Groff chooses to allow the narrator to comment on the characters.  What parts are structured as a script.  Where the timelines shift back and forth.  And where Groff drops a gear and changes the entire key of the novel.  That is what I really, really liked about this book.

So go out and acquire Fates and Furies from your local bookstore, your ebook retailer, or beat feet to your library before everyone else does.  Put it in your head.  As for me, I'm willing to try Arcadia now or give Monsters of Templeton another shot.

Dear FTC: I received a DRC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss.

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