Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff

Contemporary Fiction 2*s
Contemporary Fiction
2*s

This book is about a marriage between Lotto (Lancelot) and Mathilde, a couple who met when they were in their final year at collage, and went on to have a long marriage. So is this book a template on how to have a long and happy marriage? Well, I hope not! This is a marriage whose foundation is built on secrets, not outright lies but those truths that remain unspoken can be just as fundamental to a relationship.

There was much to enjoy in this book, the gradual revelation of the hidden selves was expertly handled with their life initially described by Lotto (in the fates) and then reflected on by Mathilde (in the furies). I enjoyed viewing the same events from a different perspective with Lotto being in turn exuberant and throwing parties when life goes well, and depressed and needing coaxing back to life when his dreams of being an actor falter. Mathilde by comparison is the woman behind the man, ever supportive of Lotto and equally willing to be the hostess so that he can take centre stage at his parties. We meet their friends some of whom remain constant throughout the marriage turning up with new partners and babies at intervals marking the passing of time.

What is harder in this book is the style, the prose is at times so flowery with an excessive use of metaphors and links to Greek mythology that at times I did something I rarely do, I skipped whole paragraphs simply because it was so cloying and quite frankly difficult to read. To use my mother’s phraseology in parts it just felt like ‘showing-off.’ Part of the problem I had was that although the book spans over two decades not a lot actually happens, and although the author cleverly gives us snapshots of their life at distinct points, allowing the reader to fill in the gaps, at over four hundred pages there was just far too much of nothing happening. I’m sure the style overshadowed the content that was buried within the pages although it seemed to reflect Lotto’s narcissistic tendencies, it completely overshadowed Mathilde even when the spotlight was on her.

In conclusion this was a great premise, I didn’t mind that both characters had flaws, or that despite the secrets, on the whole this was a successful partnership, rather I thought the author created a truth that opposes conventional wisdom in this piece. It is hard to say that if the writing style had been less ostentatious this would have been a better book, as I did like some of the quirkiness, particularly the way the author made comments on the characters thoughts, because I think in some ways the language helped to disguise the characters true nature until the secrets were uncovered but for me it was all a little too much.

I received a copy of this book through Amazon Vine in return for this, my honest review. Fates and Furies is due to be published on 15 September 2015.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (June 24)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I have just started First One Missing by Tammy Cohen .

First One Missing

Blurb

There are three things no-one can prepare you for when your daughter is murdered:
– You are haunted by her memory day and night
– Even close friends can’t understand what you are going through.
– Only in a group with mothers of other victims can you find real comfort.
But as the bereaved parents gather to offer support in the wake of another killing, a crack appears in the group that threatens to rock their lives all over again.
Welcome to the club no one wants to join. NetGalley

 

I have just finished reading Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff which was an unusual read and I seem to fall into the middle ground; I didn’t hate it but I have to admit to skipping some parts, which I rarely do so I didn’t love it either.

Fates and Furies

You can read the blurb and opening paragraph in yesterday’s post.

My review will be posted shortly

Next I plan to read My Sunshine Away by Milton O’Neal Walsh

my sunshine away

Blurb

Welcome to Woodland Hills, Louisiana: a place of lush, sweltering summers, neighbourhood cookouts in every backyard and vats of chilled beer under the crepe myrtles. A terrible crime is just about to take place…
One day Lindy Simpson cycles home from school and straight into a trap: someone is lying in wait for her, a wire strung between lampposts blocking the path. She is raped just yards from her front door. No one sees a thing and the perpetrator is not caught.
Her fourteen year old neighbour has cherished a crush on Lindy, the ultimate girl next door, since they were kids. After her assault he becomes determined to solve the crime, investigating each suspect in the neighbourhood. But before this long, hot summer is out, it will become clear that the friendly community of Woodland Hills has much to hide. Behind every white picket fence in suburbia lies a tangled web of darkness. In his zeal to solve the mystery, the teenage detective stumbles across a sinister world he doesn’t recognise, drawing ever closer to a terrifying denouement. NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (June 23)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My current read is Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies

Blurb

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.
At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart. Amazon

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

A thick drizzle from the sky, like a curtain’s sudden sweeping. The seabirds stopped their tuning, the ocean went mute. House-lights over the water dimmed to gray.

Two people were coming up the beach. She was fair and sharp in a green bikini, though it was May in Maine and cold. He was tall, vivid; a light flickered in him that caught the eye and held it. Their names were Lotto and Mathilde.

Please note that this was taken from a proof copy

Do you want to know more? The writing style is a little quirky and took some getting used to!
Please leave your thoughts and links in the comment box below

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (May 23)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Well after no new books last week I have one addition from NetGalley this week with The Tears of Angels by Caro Ramsay chosen because I enjoyed The Night Hunter by the same author.

The Tears of Angels

The Tears of Angels is due to be published 1 September 2015

Blurb

Past crimes cause new murder in this tense and twisting psychological thriller.
A few days before the summer solstice a 92-year-old woman is found burned to death in her home. On the same day, a man’s mutilated corpse is discovered in a field, his arms ripped from their sockets, a Tarot card depicting The Fool inserted in his mouth.
When the victim is identified as someone for whom the police have been looking for almost a year, detectives Anderson and Costello find themselves caught up in a case where nothing is as it seems. Was the dead man really responsible for three child murders? And what is the connection with the death of the elderly woman?
The investigation leads to the tranquil shores of Loch Lomond where Anderson and Costello will finally uncover the shocking truth. NetGalley

I also have a copy of Fates and Furies by Lauren Goff courtesy of Amazon Vine.

Fates and Furies

Blurb

Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation.
Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.
At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart. Amazon

Lastly I have one purchase; The Did It With Love by Kate Morgenroth

They Did it with Love

Blurb

Secrets lurk under the smooth surface of a wealthy Connecticut neighborhood, until a murder reveals all
Sofie and her husband have left Manhattan in search of a more tranquil life in the suburbs. But when a member of Sofie?s new neighborhood book club turns up dead, things get messy. She discovers that everybody has something to hide, including her own husband. Her neighbor Priscilla has been married to Gordon for fifteen years, but the love left their marriage a long time ago. Susan is Priscilla?s biggest supporter until she has to choose between loyalty to her friend and telling the truth. Ashley is eager to fit in, but her youth and status as a second wife keep her on the outside. She may know more than they think she does, though. Julia seems to have it all?the perfect house, job and husband. But her untimely death has people questioning how perfect her life really was. Through this swamp of suburban secrets, Sofie must wade to find the truth behind Julia?s murder and the state of her own marriage. They Did It with Love is a delightful, twisty, and twisted exploration of the things we?ll do for love. Goodreads

Any of these take your fancy or perhaps you’ve already read them?
What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below