Poised and Puzzling


An aspiring star and a mysteriously guarded woman marry at a young age, much to the disbelief of those around them. Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies explores their marriage and the secrets they’re keeping from one another and their friends.

Lotto is an aspiring actor with a charismatic personality. Mathilde is a hardworking enigma, seemingly perfect but appearing to lack some element to to her personality. Their marriage at 22 years old surprises their friends and Lotto’s family, because while they seem to have a good relationship, this came about suddenly, leaving their friends to wonder if their marriage will last. Through 24 years from both Lotto and Mathilde’s perspective, their marriage is filled with both highs and lows, shared experiences and secrets as each of them provide a different perspective of the experiences.

The novel started off rather interestingly and strong, but then quickly petered out during the remainder of Lotto’s story. After the switch to Mathilde’s story, the narrative really picked up and became much more interesting due to all the secrets relating to Mathilde that were previously hidden. The story isn’t particularly unique or new, but there were aspects to the characters that it explored further than other similar stories have. The writing itself uses lots of beautiful language, but at times it feels like a bit much and it’s trying too hard to be something greater than it is.

Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

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