December 2017 Book of the Month: FATES AND FURIES by Lauren Groff

Romances are so much less interesting than books about marriage. And that’s a cynical way to look at marriage, I know, insinuating that marriage and romance occur separately. But there’s a reason classic romances often stop at the wedding. It’s because from the moment the two parties say “I do,” the story changes completely.

Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies illustrates every hidden facet of the marriage between Lotto and Mathilde, an acclaimed playwright and his wife — and that’s exactly how the story unfolds. We learn about the playwright, then we learn about his wife after an unexpected turn and shift in perspective. It shows how two people can be so close and feel such a strong gravitational pull towards one another, orbiting around the other in perfect harmony. It just takes one major event — one secret unearthed — to throw everything off balance. We discover that perhaps these two people didn’t know each other as well as we or they originally thought. That maybe marriages fall apart only when a couple believes they know every last thing about their partners. Fates and Furies is the story about two people who are so woven together they don’t even realize they are living two completely different lives in two different worlds.

The style takes some getting used to, but it’s a story that has stuck with me for quite some time now. Unlike anything I read in 2017, definitely a stark contrast to all the fantasy novels, it wasn’t the most uplifting read, but by far the most interesting in terms of complicated relationships.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

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