Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is such hard review for me to write because I seem to be one of the very few people who didn't love this novel. I've been hearing great things about it from so many different people so I was hopeful going in ... and the subject matter is fascinating as it takes a look at marriage. Unfortunately, the novel as a whole just fell flat for me. I liked it but it didn't blow me away.
Let me start with the positives - Lauren Groff can write! There were lines that blew me away. However, I will say that her plot writing can be a little off-putting sometimes. It's a blend of amazing writing and pacing that didn't quite work for me. I just had trouble really connecting with her writing as a whole - I could find beauty in some of the sentences or passages but then BAM I was frustrated by something. It was just a jarring reading experience for me. The actual exploration of a marriage was well done. There were surprises that were aptly handled by Groff. It's nice when a literary novel surprises you like this one does.
I think two things I never completely connected with the characters and since it was a character study of the inside of a marriage, it would have been nice to have connected in some way even if they were not so relate-able characters. I liked how Groff explored the interaction of these two people - essentially going into each of their experiences and looking at the marriage from both perspectives. But, when you can't find anything interesting about either character, it's hard to care that much. I don't need likeable characters - in fact, I like unlikeable characters - but I do need characters that I find interesting or fascinating. And I just never got there with this novel.
Perhaps this one was too literary for me (whatever that means) but I just didn't connect with it. I will acknowledge that Groff is a great writer but I just didn't love this one. But, I can't really recommend or not recommend it - so many others have loved it so if you're a Groff fan or the premise sounds interesting, I'd say go for it!