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Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
  

Fates and Furies

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One of our Books of the Year 2015.

September 2015 Book of the Month.

Bold and surprising in character and style, Fates and Furies is a fascinating novel that delights in the hidden and the things that have remained unsaid. You shouldn't judge a book by it’s cover, perhaps it’s also best not to judge this book until you've turned the very last page, as the two halves, ‘Fates’ and ‘Furies’ are capable of altering and dividing opinion. Lotto and Mathilde seem to glide effortlessly through their life together, however an intricate labyrinth lies at the core of their marriage. In the first part of this book, significant events are almost eclipsed by the descriptions and the gatherings that gently skim the surface of depth and emotion, yet can appear overly descriptive. Lauren Groff though, has the ability to effect a total transformation, to startle thoughts and encourage feelings to erupt. Expectation and presumption should be removed and left behind, as realisation dawns, an impressive and arresting read lies in wait. ~ Liz Robinson

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

'I first published Lauren Groff’s fiction back in 2008 – the wonderful The Monsters of Templeton was an astonishing debut, rightly shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers (I might even say it should have won) – and I’ve been publishing her work ever since (the story collection Delicate, Edible Birds, and the exquisite novel Arcadia). But with this new novel she has more than delivered on that early promise and is writing at the top of her game; her plotting is exquisite and her sentences quiver.

Fates and Furies is a sharply drawn, forensic examination of a marriage – not, for a change, in dissolution, but in its happy complexity. It is also an exhilarating novel about creativity, art and perception. Lotto and Mathilde are life partners – a stunning couple madly in love. After ten years, they’re still in love, but each has a very different perspective on their relationship – and here you get both sides of their story. Despite their carefully held secrets, their marriage continues to flourish, and yet this novel will break your heart. It is as vivid and vital as anything I have read recently, and is certain to be one of the most widely acclaimed books of 2015.' - Jason Arthur, Publishing Director of William Heinemann

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Synopsis

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

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.


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Reviews

'With Fates and Furies Lauren Groff goes many levels below the surface of a marriage, into a place that is perhaps as hard to reach as it is to describe, but Groff, a bold and marvellous writer, is able to do both. Because she's so vitally talented line for line and passage for passage, and because her ideas about the ways in which two people can live together and live inside each other, or fall away from each other, or betray each other, feel foundationally sound and true, Fates and Furies becomes a book to submit to, and be knocked out by, as I certainly was.' -- Meg Wolitzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Interestings

'In a swirling miasma of language, plot, and Greek mythology, Groff weaves a fierce and gripping tale of true love gone asunder...Groff's prose is variously dewy, defiant, salacious, and bleak - a hurricane of words thrown together on every page. Yet so much of the power in this book lies in what's unspoken...It's an intoxicating elixir.' Publishers Weekly (starred review)

'An absorbing story of a modern marriage framed in Greek mythology. Groff's sharply drawn portrait of a marriage begins on a cold Maine beach, with newlyweds on their knees, now, though the sand was rough and hurt. It didn't matter. They were reduced to mouths and hands. This opener ushers in an ambitious, knowing novel besotted with sex - in a kaleidoscope of variety - much more abundant than the commune-dwellers got up to in Groff's luminous Arcadia (2012). The story centers first on Lancelot Lotto Satterwhite, a dashing actor at Vassar, who marries his classmate, flounders, then becomes a famous playwright. Lotto's name evokes the lottery - and the Fates, as his half of the book is titled. His wife, the imperial and striking Mathilde, takes over the second section, Furies, astir with grief and revenge. The plotting is exquisite, and the sentences hum; Groff writes with a pleasurable, bantering vividness ... An intricate plot, perfect title, and a harrowing look at the tie that binds.' Kirkus (starred review)

'Like a classic tragedy, Groff's novel offers high drama, hubris, and epic love, complete with Greek chorus-like asides. A singular and compelling literary read, populated with extraordinary characters; highly recommended.' Library Journal (starred review)

About the Author

Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, New York, which is the model for Templeton, her novel’s setting. She has a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has won fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo. Groff’s stories have appeared in prestigious literary publications including The Atlantic Monthly and Ploughshares. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband.

Author photo © Megan Brown

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Book Info

Publication date

17th September 2015

Author

Lauren Groff

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Author's Website

www.laurengroff.com/

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Publisher

William Heinemann Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Family Drama
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9781785150142

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