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Fates and Furies: A Novel
by Lauren Groff

Published: 2015-09-15
Hardcover : 400 pages
49 members reading this now
147 clubs reading this now
19 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 13 of 27 members
AMAZON'S 2015 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A FINALIST FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
NPR MORNING EDITION BOOK CLUB PICK
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, TIME, THE SEATTLE TIMES, MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, SLATE, LIBRARY JOURNAL, KIRKUS, AND ...
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Introduction

AMAZON'S 2015 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A FINALIST FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
NPR MORNING EDITION BOOK CLUB PICK
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, TIME, THE SEATTLE TIMES, MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, SLATE, LIBRARY JOURNAL, KIRKUS, AND MANY MORE


“Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers – with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.” —The New York Times Book Review (cover review)

“Elaborate, sensual...a writer whose books are too exotic and unusual to be missed."—The New York Times
 
Fates and Furies is a clear-the-ground triumph.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post


From the award-winning, New York Times- bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia, one of the most anticipated books of the fall: an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception.

Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. 

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.

Editorial Review

Picked by the Amazon editors as the #1 book of 2015: Many a therapist will tell you that honesty and transparency is the glue that keeps a relationship together. Lauren Groff cleverly turns this concept on its head in Fates and Furies, demonstrating that sometimes it’s what you don’t say—to protect your partner’s vanity, their reputation, their heart—that makes a marriage hum. (Until it doesn’t.) Broken up into two parts and numerous perspectives, this dazzlingly told tale of one such marriage introduces us to Lotto and Mathilde. The former is an out-of-work actor-turned successful playwright, although some of that success is fueled by forces his ego obscures. And then there’s his adoring and enigmatic wife, Mathilde, who we later find out is a far better actor than Lotto ever was. For all the smoke and mirrors, Groff crafts a convincing love story that packs an emotional punch, especially when certain truths are revealed. There is also something satisfying in finding out the extent to which our own perceptions are skewed as the narrative unfolds. The title Fates and Furies is a nod to Greek Tragedy, and this novel revels in the themes befitting one—passion, betrayal, vengeance, redemption…You will revel in it, too. –Erin Kodicek

Excerpt

FATES

1

A THICK DRIZZLE FROM THE SKY, like a curtain’s sudden sweeping. The seabirds stopped their tuning, the ocean went mute. Houselights over the water dimmed to gray.

Two people were coming up the beach. She was fair and sharp in a green bikini, though it was May in Maine and cold. He was tall, vivid; a light flickered in him that caught the eye and held it. Their names were Lotto and Mathilde. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Fates and Furies is told in halves. Why do you think the author chose to narrate the story this way? How did the split storytelling affect your reading of the book? Might it be symbolic of the characters’ inner lives?

2. Consider Mathilde’s final decision—to keep her past a secret for so many years. Do you think she should have told Lotto the truth? Think about whether this lie was truly for the best; could they have been happy if Mathilde had told him everything? Why do you think she kept this information to herself?

3. How did the inclusion of Lotto’s writing affect your reading experience? Did Lotto’s plays help you to understand his character?

4. Discuss the way the author presents Lotto’s writing talent. Mathilde has a significant hand in his success, but she is never recognized for it. Should she have taken the credit? Discuss the effect of stardom on Lotto’s understanding of himself and his marriage.

5. Fates and Furies questions male vs. female perceptions of reality. Think about how the author approaches the notion of feminine anger. Mathilde is an incredibly angry character; do the men in her life allow for this anger? Why or why not? Do you think Lotto is a misogynist? And how does your vision of Lotto’s world change after hearing Mathilde’s side of the story?

6. Mathilde’s relationship with Ariel is abusive. What does Ariel’s presence in the story say about Mathilde’s natural impulse toward revenge? Where is her reaction to her experience with Ariel directed at other characters?

7. Think about setting. As the characters grow, they find themselves in ever-changing spaces. How does each setting compel their actions and, eventually, their relationships? Specifically, discuss Mathilde’s life in France, Lotto’s childhood in Florida, and how these geographical differences affect their union in New York.

8. Fates and Furies spans a long period of time. Chronologically, the plot is very complex, though there is a central focus on Lotto and Mathilde. . How do Lotto and Mathilde change over the years, together and apart? Do you think they had a happy marriage?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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