Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff review - a marriage seen from two sides | Books | The GuardianGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
Scenes from a Marriage
Lancelot nicknamed Lotto and Mathilde born Aurelie married two weeks after they met at the end of their college years. Lotto wanted to be an actor, and moved to New York with his bride in search of fame and fortune, with little success. Despite his narcissistic self-absorption, Lotto charmed every one he met. His friends were loyal. One drunken night, Lotto wrote a play, which Mathilde polished and edited.
Lotto short for Lancelot and Mathilde meet at a party, near the end of their time as Vassar undergraduates. The attraction is intense, and they get quickly married, just before graduation. Mathilde is mysterious. She seems to have no legible past, no obvious context. This is a characteristically patriarchal gesture: Mathilde seems to ask for little, and subsumes whatever desire for a career she may have had to his larger claims. The little she spoke of childhood was shadowed with abuse. Her most vivid memories of her childhood were of the television that was never turned off.
Groff writes with an imaginative compassion and intellectual force that lends her account of a marriage real philosophical weight. Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff's third novel, tells the story of a marriage. His youthful attempts to become an actor might not have been a success, but what does that matter when you can become a world-famous playwright instead?
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I t starts with honeymoon sex on a cold New England beach, and ends with lonely old age in London decades later. Also, how many people were watching them, how beautiful he and Mathilde looked together. His past was gone. Lotto is an actor he will soon fail, and discover his gift for writing. But their first meeting sets the tone of a relationship that never feels fully inhabited by Groff, or accessible to her reader.
Still, people talk about it. Critics love it, or — even better — debate its merits. Like Gone Girl , Fates and Furies is about a marriage in which each partner has a radically disparate view, not just of their union, but of the type of narrative constituted by their lives. The novel tells the story of Lotto and Mathilde Satterwhite. On the surface, this premise echoes the familiar observation that even two people who live together intimately can end up feeling they hardly know each other. But Fates and Furies , like Gone Girl , wrenches the old wronged-woman formula out of joint. Each woman is far cleverer than her spouse.