Fates and Furies author Lauren Groff, uses the image of a bomb as a metaphor for marriage: the explosiveness and devastation of a bomb are not in its casing, but rather in its contents. This is a befitting metaphor for a book that as a whole appears to be about a golden marriage that has lost its luster, but when examined closer, this novel offers so much more than simple tropes.
Though it can be argued that the characters in this novel were somewhat one dimensional
and that the drama eventually turns sensational, I thought that there were great bursts of psychological and sociological commentary on a number of relevant themes. One theme being the performance aspect in relationships, specifically the problematic nuance in lying to a partner versus consciously omitting details. The author also investigates the source of privilege and its offshoots of luck and fortune, which to me are vital components in the concept of Fate – at least in Lotto’s case. As for her portrayal of Fury through Mathilde’s feminine rage, I lauded her challenge to the gendered norm of the helpmeet wife, but at the same time felt sheer confusion when these norms were supported through Mathilde’s doting submission to them.
So, we have that and many other great topics to discuss. However, you must be warned… my familiarity with Greek mythology is piddling and my knowledge of Shakespeare and the stage are even less. Really, for parts of this novel I wasn’t feeling all that smart. Anyway, I can assure you that my limit to engage in salacious, dark, literary drama is boundless.
See you soon,
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
- “… a husband and wife, both ‘bad’ but one ‘badder’.” S.D. from SAPL.
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
- It’s kind of like reading “Fates” but with more believable rage and contempt.
Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connnell
- Another, dare I say “angry female” coping with her empty life.
Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts by Robert M. Dowling.
- Just another playwright who essentially silences his wife.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- Both feature a wronged women as a puppetmaster of outward appearances.
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Mussud.
- Features another female protagonist that shakes up the status quo with her “unacceptable” anger.