Bestselling, multiple award winning, Fates and Furies is a deviation from modern literary tradition that proves to deepen an intensely emotional tragedy.
Is it a romance, a drama, a saga, or a beautiful narrative? The answer is yes, but truthfully, it is a modern day classic, tragedy. In light of the idea and with an ever-changing audience, if Shakespeare was alive and writing today, Fates and Furies would be a mirror of his craft. By the same token, the rich style of writing that makes it wonderfully different also, defies modern day literary standards, which adds another level of interesting to the reading experience.
Any time we place a person either real or imaginary under a proverbial microscope whether positive or negative there is a moral theme sometimes developed other times not, and on rare occasions an author not only delivers, but exceeds by extending the moral message beyond completion and into an advanced mode. Since human beings tend to view life through the rose colored glasses of denial, I particularly enjoy the inclusion of this third dimension of personality.
Lauren Groff gives us real to life characters that deserve an A+ for making dysfunction function.
Life is full of disagreements; in fact, finding balance between the dueling scenarios is where an individual discovers maturity, and ultimately, peace. Fates and Furies is about the discourse from within their struggle and beyond as codependency fools the characters into believing they achieved balance.
The novel opens with a hot, beach scene that serves as the reader’s introduction to the main characters, Lotto and Mathilde, as the two 22-year-olds consummate their recent nuptials on the sand. Initially, emerging from the gorgeous, even rhythmic literature, the sexually charged opening felt oddly displaced. However, in a fleeting literary moment, it seemed perfect.
The novel spans the couple’s 24 year marriage, revealed from a third-person narrator, the format allows for each character’s version of events.
Early on, despite his flaws and close calls with failure, Lotto emerges as an endearing man a quality that remains remarkably intact throughout the events of his life. His career as a failing actor, who subsequently becomes a writer that climbs to fame as a legendary, modern playwright is fitting of the manuscript’s style and serves as a secondary plot.
Sort of unremarkable, at least in the marriage, Mathilde has a supporting role professionally as she serves in the background as her husband’s business and financial manager, but eventually; the story untangles and divulges more details about her secret life independent of Lotto.
Certainly, Lotto and Mathilde’s relationship is a steadfast center for the premise, and each individual perspective adds depth as they separately explore how the lasting wounds of their respective dysfunctional childhoods influenced their adult lives.
On a personal note, through style and story Lauren Groff creates a beautiful literary marriage that heightens the emotional element of the novel. The passions are heart wrenching, heartwarming and for me this was an engaging reading experience as my thoughts for a couple of days became totally devoted to the characters and their story.
Published by Riverhead Books, Fates and Furies is available at Amazon and other book retailers.
|Review by Sammy Sutton|