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Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

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Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies - Lauren Groff

I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book, as I did not love Groff's Arcadia (though I know plenty of people who did love it). But this book has received quite a few nominations, so into the library queue it went.

 

And I waited. As I waited to get to the top of that queue, this book started to appear on year-end best-of lists.

 

And finally it came. And I started reading.

 

And I was not thrilled. "Fates" is the first part of the book. We meet Lancelot "Lotto" Satterwhite, onetime wild teenager banished to a New England boarding school. Actor. Playwright. Husband. Loud, confident, loved. His wife Mathilde. Beautiful yet stiff, quiet. And his sister Rachel, his aunt Sallie, his best friend, her co-worker, her former boss, their friends. OK, lots of people, most of them minor characters. All told from Lotto's perspective.

 

"Furies" is the second part of the book. And here the book comes together, as we hear from Mathilde, Rachel, Sallie. All the questions related to "Fates" are answered. The little bits that seemed missing? Here they are. I tore through this second half in a day and half.

 

I love novels with a lot of characters. And I love a novel with an unusual construction. In the second half, everything that didn't quite make sense becomes clear. But the second half could not exist without the first. And really the construction makes perfect sense in the end. And we find out how and why Mathilde comes through to give one person something special.