** Available to pre-order, MATRIX, the remarkable new novel from Lauren Groff **
'A really powerful novel' President Obama
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.
AMAZON.COM's 2015 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
BARACK OBAMA'S BOOK OF THE YEAR
A FINALIST FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The writing in this dazzling novel will take your breath away. Married couple Mathilde and Lotto have the kind of life others envy—they’re beautiful, successful, wealthy and madly in love. But perfection is an illusion. American author Lauren Groff (who wrote the enchanting Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia) finds inventive ways to burrow beneath the surface of Mathilde and Lotto’s story, revealing the troubling obstacles and secrets paving their paths.
In a swirling miasma of language, plot, and Greek mythology, Groff (Arcadia) weaves a fierce and gripping tale of true love gone asunder. Told in two interwoven parts, the fable-like story of Lancelot (Lotto) and Mathilde's 24-year marriage unfolds, first from Lotto's perspective, then Mathilde's. "Fates," the first part, takes readers through Lotto's mopey years as a failed actor living in "glamorous poverty" in New York City's Greenwich Village, his overnight success as a playwright, his struggles with aging, his perpetually hungry ego, his estrangement from his millionaire mother, and his gleeful infatuation with and dependency on his pale, bewitching wife. Meanwhile, Mathilde's all-consuming adoration for her husband doesn't completely jive with the dark secrets she's hiding from him. Of course, there's always the sex. Groff's prose is variously dewy, defiant, salacious, and bleak a hurricane of words thrown together on every page. Yet so much of the power in this book lies in what's unspoken Lotto's bottomless sorrow and self-pity flanked by Mathilde's white-hot rage and, later, her thirst for revenge. There are moments when the writing feels self-indulgent, but, for the most part, it's an intoxicating elixir. Perhaps Groff herself says it best: "It was less a story than a great creature surfacing from the deep; it was more sudden audible wave than narrative."
Comes alive in the second half
I almost gave up on the book halfway through, but do persevere as from Mathilde's story the book begins to come alive.