I feel like I didn’t get much accomplished this weekend for some reason. Saturday I was up early and my sister and I went to Chapters and I picked up a few things for Christmas and then we had a nice lunch at Earl’s. We ran some errands picking up some things for Christmas (wine and chocolates – who needs the turkey??), had coffee and then I had an appointment at 4:45 for a pedicure. I got home and seemed to fritter the evening away doing not much of anything. Today I slept to 9:00 and then hit the shower and got cleaned up. I made a pot of coffee and then read pretty much until 3:00 when I finished my book “Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. I will post my review at the end of this blog. So it is now 4:00 on Sunday and I feel like I really didn’t get much done this weekend. I leave on a vacation on Wednesday — flying to San Juan for a couple of days and then getting on a cruise ship for 7 days so I know that I won’t get much reading done from now until the end of the month. I am very much looking forward to my trip, however. As I will not have internet connection on the ship, I will post blogs about it when I get home at the end of November/beginning of December.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff:
There are two main characters in this book, Lotto (short for Lancelot) and Mathilde. They meet at the very end of college and elope approx. two weeks later. Lotto is a struggling actor and Mathilde was doing some photo-shoots/modelling. Lotto comes from a very rich background. His father started a bottled water company using water that was found on his own land. When his father died prematurely, the company and land was sold and his mother became extremely wealthy. When she learned of his elopement however, she cut him off financially. Lotto does not attain fame being an artist and there are days that they cannot afford to buy food to feed themselves. For some reason Mathilde quits work soon after she marries and spends the years doting on Lotto. Lotto does however become famous when he starts writing plays and their financial situation improves significantly, however, it does seem to feed Lotto’s narcissism.
The book is in two parts with the first being about Lotto and the second about Mathilde. The book is described as being about a long-term marriage and the secrets that couples keep from each other. I saw it more as a character study of two very different individuals. I found the first half of the book (Lotto’s story) to be very slow paced with Lotto being a pretty extreme narcissist.
Lotto’s section is written very poetically. The problem I have is that I dislike poetry. I found that I ended up having to read paragraphs three or four times to figure out what the author was actually trying to say. This frustrated me — if you have something to say, spit it out. I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara in October and it was beautifully written and I didn’t have to re-read paragraphs to understand what was happening. I can see that the author would be very good at writing poetry but if that is what you want to do, then I would suggest writing a book of poetry, promoting it as poetry and if a person likes poetry, they will pick it up and read it. I was very tempted to DNF this book, however, I rarely do this (maybe once a year) and I had just done that with the book I had picked up before this one so I was determined to finish this one.
Mathilde’s story moves much quicker and I found it more interesting than Lotto’s. This is the part where we find out the real secrets. I won’t spoil the review by telling what the secrets are but it did improve my opinion of the book. If I had stopped reading right after Lotto’s story, I would have given this book 2 stars out of 5, partly because I didn’t like either character and I found that they didn’t really have many redeeming qualities. Finishing the book today, I am giving it 2.75 stars mainly because of Mathilde’s story and the fact that it is very obvious the care and attention the author took in writing this book and I have to give her credit for that regardless of whether I like her writing style.
I totally get what you mean about Fates and Furies. She was trying too hard to say things in a fancy way that it became difficult to really understand. When I was writing my review for Fates and Furies I wanted to reference Yanagihara’s way of writing, but I thought I might come off as biased since I clearly love that book, lol. The writing A Little Life is raw and hard-hitting BUT simple. “Good literature” doesn’t have to be 100% metaphors and flowery writing. Simple can get the message across just as well (if not better), which is what Yanagihara proved.
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