I was standing in the line to buy my copy of Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters at the Writers Festival when I saw this one – the cover is quite eye catching, which had been recommended by a friend. I, of course, bought this one as well (in large format even though I am trying to buy novels digitally to save a bit of space).
Here’s the blurb …
Fates and Furies is a dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation.
Every story has 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.
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. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.
I had no pre-conceived notions when I started reading this novel – knew nothing about it or its author at all. It was fabulous. It tells the story of a (seemingly) happy marriage from two different perspectives – first the husband and then the wife. The difference is astounding and quite shocking: the husband’s version is happy, almost boastful and then, in the wife’s version, we read terrible of secrets and betrayals.
The characters are beautifully written – Lotto, Mathilde, Antoinette (the former mermaid who finds religion and food), Chollie (Lotto’s unattractive friend and hanger-on). The writing is magnificent – for example, a bus letting of passengers ‘knelt the passengers off like a carnival elephant’.
I liked both the plot and writing of this novel – it was surprising and clever (and certainly not predictable, which seems to be the case with most novels these days).
More reviews …