Fates and Furies: A Novel By Lauren Groff


An Amazon Best Book of September 2015: Many a therapist will tell you that honesty and transparency is the glue that keeps a relationship together. Lauren Groff cleverly turns this concept on its head in Fates and Furies, demonstrating that sometimes it’s what you don’t say—to protect your partner’s vanity, their reputation, their heart—that makes a marriage hum. (Until it doesn’t.) Broken up into two parts and numerous perspectives, this dazzlingly told tale of one such marriage introduces us to Lotto and Mathilde. The former is an out-of-work actor-turned successful playwright, although some of that success is fueled by forces his ego obscures. And then there’s his adoring and enigmatic wife, Mathilde, who we later find out is a far better actor than Lotto ever was. For all the smoke and mirrors, Groff crafts a convincing love story that packs an emotional punch, especially when certain truths are revealed. There is also something satisfying in finding out the extent to which our own perceptions are skewed as the narrative unfolds. The title Fates and Furies is a nod to Greek Tragedy, and this novel revels in the themes befitting one—passion, betrayal, vengeance, redemption…You will revel in it, too. –Erin Kodicek

“Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers – with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.” —The New York Times Book Review (cover review)

“One of the pleasures of reading Ms. Groff is her sheer unpredictability: She can inject her narrator’s voice at any time, turn a sentence into a small hurricane.” —The New York Times

“Even from her impossibly high starting point, Lauren Groff just keeps getting better and better. Fates and Furies is a clear-the-ground triumph.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“Lauren Groff rips at the seams of an outwardly perfect marriage in her enchanting novel Fates and Furies.” Vanity Fair

“We can’t help but be fascinated by the possibility of what goes on behind closed doors—especially if there’s a glam, madly-in-love couple on the other side. Meet Mathilde and Lotto. Groff’s novel unfolds in a he said/she said gutting drama that you won’t be able to resist.” – Marie Claire

“[This] story is a storm you hope won’t blow over: surprising, wild, with pockets of calm that build anticipation for the next squall… Groff scours her characters, laying them bare so questions of likability are moot. If, in the end, everyone is flawed, everyone also attains a kind of nobility.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“The Florida author’s third novel is billed as her most ambitious yet, filled with sex, rage and revenge.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Audacious and gorgeous …. The result is not only deliciously voyeuristic but also wise on the simultaneous comforts and indignities of romantic partnership.” —LA Times

“Complex, sexy and achingly beautiful.” —Good Housekeeping

“Stunning.”—Entertainment Weekly

“With Fates and Furies Lauren Groff goes many levels below the surface of a marriage, into a place that is perhaps as hard to reach as it is to describe, but Groff, a bold and marvelous writer, is able to do both.  Because she’s so vitally talented line for line and passage for passage, and because her ideas about the ways in which two people can live together and live inside each other, or fall away from each other, or betray each other, feel foundationally sound and true, Fates and Furies becomes a book to submit to, and be knocked out by, as I certainly was.” —Meg Wolitzer, New York Times-bestselling author of The Interestings

“Fates and Furies is a dazzling novel, its people and its prose wondrously alive from page one. At once intimate and sweeping, this is the story of a marriage as parallel myths— flaring with passion and betrayal, with redemption and retribution, with the sort of heart-breaking, head-slapping secrets that make you want to seek out someone else who’s read it. Lauren Groff is a powerful and graceful writer, one of the best of her generation.” —Jess Walter, New York Times-bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins

“A recounting of a 25-year marriage looks way different when told from both sides of the bed.” Cosmopolitan

“A playful and riveting read that questions whether love can be true when it’s wrapped in falsehoods.” —People

“Groff breaks the novel form open at the seams… What’s different and remarkable about Groff’s third novel can be summarized in two little words: the writing. Groff is a prose virtuoso, and in
Fates and Furies she offers up her writerly gifts in all their glory.” —The Chicago Tribune

[A] many-faceted gem… Groff collapses the dichotomy between the domestic and the epic.” —Vulture, New York Magazine

“[Characters] Lotto and Mathilde glow and hum with incredible vitality, and the story of their relationship is satisfyingly complex. But it’s Groff’s prose — dreamy but controlled, intuitive but fresh, and startling in its originality — that’s worthy of its own study and praise.” — Bustle

“In Fates and Furies, bestselling author Lauren Groff weaves an all-consuming tale that takes its cues from Greek tragedy. Spanning a 24-year marriage, her story offers an intimate look at the fortunes and failures that arise even in the greatest of partnerships.” —Martha Stewart Living

“Fates and Furies is an electric examination of a complicated and layered marriage over the course of 24 years”. —Popsugar

“There are many smart threads in the book—the line between confidence and arrogance in the creation of art, the feeling of living somewhere you don’t want to be (i.e. Florida). But most poignantly, Fates and Furies is a novel about marriage, and the ways in which even a strong relationship can still be threatened by secrets and the growing emotional distance that can form between two people over time. —The Oyster Review

Groff’s gift [is] imbuing each scene with subtle, dueling layers of emotion. A saga of secrets, Fates and Furies examines the conjoined perspectives that make up a mostly happy—if at times tragic—marital relationship.” —Huffington Post

“Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies is a literary portrait of a long ‘perfect’ marriage from his POV, then hers. The shocking things she describes will have you flipping back furiously to what he said, wondering How did he miss that?” —Redbook

“Deliciously vibrant.” —W Magazine

“The ambitious new novel by the acclaimed author of Arcadia offers a his-and-hers portrait of marriage with a reference to Greek mythology… Her section, ‘Furies’, turns everything we thought we knew about their relationship on its head.” —Newsday

“Lauren Groff, author of the best-sellers Arcadia and The Monsters of Templeton, is back with Fates and Furies, a multi-layered portrait of a seemingly perfect marriage that unravels over the course of two decades. Told from both sides, Fates and Furies is wholly complex, dramatic, and riveting – an exploration of love, betrayal, perception, and the destructive power of secrets. Groff’s novel’s crackling energy makes it the perfect read for fall.” —Buzzfeed

“With deft vision, Groff considers grief, jealousy, parenthood, the power dynamic between spouses and the misery that accompanies art and those who make it…. On the surface, Groff’s prose sparkles, but it also pulls the reader into a thick undertow of doubt and loss. Just like the surface of their marriage: a pristine shimmer that trembles from the deeper problems beneath…. Groff’s sentences, as always lithe and poetic, unrolling like a glimmering carpet to the gray and uncertain territory of her characters’ inner conflicts. She wields an almost-wizardly command of language, specifically metaphor. Each page contains sumptuous pieces of imagery…. Fates and Furies, too, begins as a fist, its secrets clenched in its grasp. Once it is pried open, the secrets release like a magician’s doves. The hand is empty, and there is nothing left to offer.”—Electric Literature

“Groff’s writing is intelligent, knowing and deliciously sexy. When Groff’s red-hot prose ignites Mathilde’s icy rage, Fates and Furies is something very special indeed.”—BookPage

“In a swirling miasma of language, plot, and Greek mythology, Groff weaves a fierce and gripping tale of true love gone asunder. . . .  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. . . . An intoxicating elixir.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The plotting is exquisite, and the sentences hum; Groff writes with a pleasurable, bantering vividness. An intricate plot, perfect title, and a harrowing look at the tie that binds.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Dark and dazzling. . . . [Groff’s prose] seduces the reader as much as the golden couple at the center of the compelling story. . . .Taking a page from Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl–like view of marriage, Groff fashions a searing, multilayered portrait of a union that seems to thrive on its darkest secrets.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Like a classic tragedy, Groff’s novel offers high drama, hubris, and epic love, complete with Greek chorus–like asides. A singular and compelling literary read, populated with extraordinary characters; highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)

Praise for Arcadia

“The raw beauty of Ms. Groff’s prose is one of the best things about Arcadia. But it is by no means this book’s only kind of splendor.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“This novel will swallow you whole.” —The New York Times Book Review

“I was constantly torn between wanting to gulp down this book or savor its lines. Even the most incidental details vibrate with life. . . . Arcadia wends a harrowing path back to a fragile, lovely place you can believe in.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“Dazzling. . . . it’s Groff’s essential human empathy that gives her work its urgency.” —Vogue

“One of our best young novelists. . . .  Groff’s prismatic prose style lends itself to the darker currents that run beneath the Arcadian dream. . . . both poetic and ambitious.” —Elle

“An astonishing novel, both in ambition and achievement, filled with revelations that appear inevitable in retrospect, amid the cycle of life and death.” —Kirkus (starred review)

Praise for The Monsters of Templeton

“The sense of sadness I feel at the approaching end of The Monsters of Templeton isn’t just because the story’s going to be over; when you read a good one— and this is a very good one—those feelings are deepened by the realization that you probably won’t tie into anything that much fun again for a long time. ” —Stephen King

“[An] outstanding literary debut. . . . What Groff is really digging at here is the enigma of the human spirit and how redemption and resilience shape our lives. . . . Groff turns her story into a meditation on the nature of change and how evolution— of a place, a family, a person— even if it’s difficult and unsettling, can bring joyous rewards.” —Miami Herald

“Groff’s multilayered saga both thrills and delights with poignant, breathtaking prose. Grade: A.” —Entertainment Weekly

“It’s a rare book that gives darkness a good long stare and declares, convincingly, that life contains joy. The Monsters of Templeton, a fascinating first novel by Lauren Groff, is a book with joy in its marrow. . . . Reading this exquisite book is like swimming through warm water filled with wondrous things. . . . This is a fabulous book.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Groff’s lively and poetic debut novel . . . [is] sweet and slightly wry, poignant yet beautifully understated.” —Boston Globe
Lauren Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of two novels, The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia, as well as the celebrated short-story collection Delicate Edible Birds. She graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines, including The New YorkerHarper’s, and The Atlantic, and in several of the annual The Best American Short Stories anthologies. Groff’s fiction has won the Paul Bowles Prize for Fiction, the Medici Book Club Prize, the PEN/O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize.


Fates and Furies: A Novel Book

“Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers – with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.” —The New York Times Book Review (cover review)

“Elaborate, sensual…a writer whose books are too exotic and unusual to be missed.”—The New York Times

Fates and Furies is a clear-the-ground triumph.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

From the award-winning, New York Times- bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia, one of the most anticipated books of the fall: an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception.

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.