17 January, 2016

Book Review: Fates & Furies

From Goodreads: 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.

Thoughts: This was our first book group read for the year and it was an excellent one!  If you belong to a book group I highly recommend this as a book. It provided the best discussion I think we have ever had.
I have seen a few reviews that have compared it to Gone Girl and I can see where the comparison comes from, but it is similar in only the most basic sense. Like Gone Girl, Fates and Furies is told in two parts, from two points of view with the second challenging some of the assumptions you had made in the first part. Unlike Gone Girl which is plot driven, this is very much driven by it's characters and their reactions to the environment. They make things happen, things don't just happen to them.
And the characters are amazing. They are flawed and fragile. They are unpredictable and challenging. They are likeable and detestable. They are human. Groff's characters stare you in the eye and dismiss you easily, truly not caring what you think. 
Particularly in the second half of the book, the plot twists and turns in ways you never imagined. Suddenly the actions of some become clear and, as in Gone Girl, what you thought you knew turns out to be a beautifully crafted facade.
At it's heart, Fates and Furies is a love story. A story of an imperfect marriage, of doing what must be done, of giving your life to another. It's gritty and real, not a fairytale romance at all. But in the end it shows how love makes us do things we never thought were possible.