Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

With so many books in the world, it is a very rare occurrence for me to actually dive into a read that was published in the same year, but social media urged a few books to the top of my list in 2015- Fate and Furies being one. I hate to admit that I finally hopped on the train once Mr. Obama confirmed it as his 'favorite read of the year,' but it didn't disappoint. Bold statement, but this may possibly now be the best book I have read. 

The story is split between two narratives of a husband, Lotto, and his wife, Matilde, over the course of their marriage. The first half of the book is told entirely by Lotto, about his upbringing, youth days, meeting Matilde, career, and troubles. The latter is told my Matilde, less about her story, but rather her involvement with Lotto's development. 

I have never read a story told in this format; while I enjoyed the story of Lotto unfolding, I sucked it up in one night once I got to Matilde. It felt like two different authors more than just two different perspectives; Lotto generally lives in a world that surrounds him, while Matilde is often the reasoning of his world unfolding. The two have such an interesting connection to the other, with such raw and choppy excerpts explaining the grey areas of their life, reading the opposite perspective after already being told what I thought to be true was fascinating. 

“Great swaths of her life were white space to her husband. What she did not tell him balanced neatly with what she did. Still, there are untruths made of words and untruths made of silences, and Mathilde had only ever lied to Lotto in what she never said.”  ― Lauren GroffFates and Furies

Okay, this goes beyond the review, but I had a weird fate moment with this book that I have to share in my little internet corner of the world. On New Years Eve, I was taking the Subway into work on a packed train and was reading for several stops, uninterrupted. I typically read without the jacket cover with hardbound books, and when a rush of people got on and forced my position,  I swiveled around and saw a guy reading the same book (although I'm looking into the fate of it more because its everywhere right now) I freaked out! I mouthed 'same book!!!' and he winked and mouthed back 'it's so good.' I couldn't agree more. Right then, the doors for my stop opened, I hopped off, and stood on the platform until the train (with sir mystery on it) took off, and we waved goodbye. If you're out there, reading this in some alignment of fate, I really wanted to know what you thought of the book. Please reference my very vague Craigslist Missed Connection so we can link up and discuss.

***In a less sarcastic and dramatic way, events like this really are one of my favorite things about living in NYC. Maybe I notice it more because I want to check out what everyone is reading, but it really is a literary lovers town- so heavily saturated with book lovers around every turn.

This book is absolutely nothing like The Goldfinch, but its right up there with 'OMG I miss all the characters' + 'I sat in a depressed silence for an entire hour after I finished it,' so if you're into those things (and The Goldfinch), your odds of loving this are higher.  I absolutely loved Matilde's perspective, and the entire book was a slow throb that really stuck with me. While it had its imperfections, it was unlike so many narratives of a complex relationship I have consumed. Read it and weep, lovers! *Not in a romantic way, because its not a dreamy romance novel. Final warning.