86. Fates and Furies (Lauren Groff)

61X4KnqQS4L._SL160_After seeing Fates and Furies on a number of book lists, I figured i would give it it a chance.  It sounded interesting – a marriage descripbed from two different perspectives.  As I neared the last few chapters, I read that it is Barack Obama’s favourite book of 2015!  I have to admit that Fates and Furies was not a bad book but is definitely not on my list of best reads for 2015.

The first half of the book is told from the perspective of Lotto (short for Lancelot) who had grown up in an affluent family. He was sent away at age 15 to boarding school in an attempt to remove him from drugs and his questionable friends.  Later, in college, he eventually met Mathilde and after whirlwind romance got married.  The struggling actor was supported by his wife until he changed his focus to become a successful playwright.  During the 24 years of marriage he described many challenges including being estranged from his dysfunctional family.

The latter half of the story was narrated by Mathilde who had no family ties and had quietly  manipulated meeting, dating and a quick marriage to Lotto.  She had overheard that he was rich and interrupted his relationship with another student by helping her become drunk to the point of vomiting.  She continued her manipulative ways and while faithful, kept much her history and actions to herself.  She had lived a separate life with no ties until Lotto.

At the end of each spouse’s narration, they both learned information about their partner that had eluded them during their 24 year old marriage.  While they were both faithful, they had secrets.  While they loved each other, they had lied, had omitted and had deceived each other at times.

It is an interesting novel but did not keep me glued to my chair and I finished it slowly over the week.  The text was confusing at times when the narrators flipped between past and present.  Ultimately, this novel was a sad depiction of a marriage from both Lotto’s and Mathilde’s perspective.

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