Hello Everyone and Welcome Back to The Boss Book Club!
Today we will be looking at one of the most beautifully written, astounding pieces of writing I’ve had the chance to enjoy at the tail end of last year- Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.
I found this book by doing some research of the best novels of 2015. Fates and Furies was featured on multiple top ten lists around the place, and was even chosen by President Obama as his favourite book of the year. I figured, well if it’s good enough for the now former President, it’s good enough for me!
You shouldn’t be deceived by the topic of this book. The topic is marriage. A man named Lotto and a woman named Mathilde get married after only two weeks of dating, and this book tells about their marriage, from beginning to end, from both points of view. It sounds simple, it may sound boring- not your kind of thing- but I promise, if you are interested in the psychology of a person, interested in how two different people can think, feel and live, and the memories that shape their behaviour today, you will find no better book to explore that in than this.
Lauren’s work is incredible. These two central characters are so well written the experience is liking jumping into someone else’s mind completely. I’ve never read character work done so well. Both Mathilde and Lotto have their flaws, their talents, and of course, their secrets. This book is as much about what they share together in their marriage as what they hide, and there is certainly plenty of dramatic elements that push the story along- career highs and lows, money ups and downs, personal crises, and plenty of sex. This book tells the life of two people, in the moments together and apart, in a level of detail you won’t have experienced before.
Lauren’s writing style is easy to read and intimate. It is written in second person viewpoint, but Lauren has included little asides, written in brackets, that give the objective truth of the situation. Like this:
“The author of the Boss Book Club is thinking about eating a salad [She will back out and find her stash of stale Kit Kats].”
Except Lauren does it much better, about more interesting topics, such as what Lotto and Mathilde cannot see objectively about themselves or each other.
I thoroughly recommend this book for absolutely all adults. It will take you into a story of marriage, of personal growth, of truth and lies, that is detailed beyond belief, and never fails to be engaging. If you are a writer, it will show you character work done to perfection. If you are married, it will leave you thinking about a lot of things about yourself and your partner, and what makes a successful relationship. In terms of weaknesses, I would say that I found the first half of the book much more realistic and relatable than the second half. I feel that Lauren undoes some of her hard work in the second half by including a few melodramatic elements which I think cheapen the story a little.
I’ve left this review as vague as I can because it’s truly worth experiencing it for yourself.
Now, I’m going to go make myself a salad!
Happy Reading and thanks for joining us at The Boss Book Club!