Fates & Furies is a chaotic and disturbing love story. There’s so much in the past of Lotto and Mathilde that drive their characters. Because of their traumas they go on dark journeys to discover themselves.
While I’m not familiar with greek mythology and theater, I am familiar with artists who are very self involved. I understand Lotto’s struggles in the beginning. His father dies, he has sex for the first time, and his mother drives the girl away. He doesn’t even know she’s alive or that he has child out there somewhere. Then he goes to boarding school where he’s bullied and then essentially raped by his theater teacher.
As an adult he gets very involved with himself, somewhat struggling with his sexuality. In college he’s with a new girl every week it seems. Until he meets Mathilde during his final year. And finding someone to care for him, unlike his mother, he decides to marry her immediately. And of course his mother disapproves.
He’s always the center of attention, which he seems to love since that’s how he started out as a baby, being adored by his family. Finally he has somehow earned that adoration again. When he goes off to a writing community and stays for months on end, he draws towards a young pianist who is obsessed with him. He thrives off of being the center of attention, even though the young artist kills himself by walking into a blizzard due to Lotto’s rejection.
However, his self obsession is what truly ends his life. After discovering his wife Mathilde had cheated on him briefly he kills himself. He does not know the whole story, but he does build up a story in his artistic mind, drinks a bottle of vodka, and walks into the ocean to die.
Mathilde is another female character type that I personally enjoy reading about. She’s a child murderer! She doesn’t help her baby brother as he crawls and tumbles down the stairs of her aunt’s house, to his death. With her parents disowning her, she goes on to live in her creepy uncle’s mansion. He doesn’t care about her, and then she goes on to college. She then becomes an OG sugar baby. The man gives her money solely for being naked around his home. It pays for her college, but she’s stuck in a life where she can’t be involved in relationships or friendships with anyone else. Until she comes up with a plan to seduce Lotto, which leads to their marriage and cuts ties with her sugar daddy.
Mathilde is the one who builds up Lotto’s writing success. She edits, changing things for him, making him think it was his own idea. She’s manipulative, but out of her own caring place.
While I believe she truly loves Lotto, she’s still extremely unhappy. After Lotto kills himself, she goes on to have relations with younger men as she grows older, yet still beautiful. She goes on to find Lotto’s son, who tries to sleep with her, but never leads to anything except her seeing another glimpse of her dead lover.
This book is not a happy, feel-good read. It’s dark and that’s what I like about it. I love Lauren Groff and I can’t wait to read more from her.
There’s a lot of drinking in this book, but I feel like champagne and vodka seem to be common factors. So I’m pairing a Poor Man’s Bougie Lemon Drop with this book.
What you need:
– Citrus Vodka
– Champagne (Think Cooks if you want to be on brand with the “Poor Man” part)
– Lemon juice
Grab a champagne glass, pour in 2 oz of the vodka, a splash or two of lemon juice, and top off with champagne. Now drink enough to feel like you’re writing the best manuscript of your life. But just know you probably aren’t and there’s no Mathilde to rewrite it for you.