When I saw Lauren Groff had a new title coming soon I was extremely excited because of my experience with "Fates and Furies." This latest effort deals with Marie, someone who is removed from the royal court of Eleanor of Aquitaine for being perceived as too rough to be marriage material so instead becomes an abbess of a 12th century nunnery. There are hefty doses of sensualism and religious ecstacy to include a few descriptive visions with the virgin Mary. Overall my impression that the author is fantastic hasn't changed, I just think this one wasn't my cup of tea. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with this drc available through netgalley.
Lauren Goff's Matrix features truly gorgeous writing that immerses you in a fascinating time period. Most impressive is the portrayal of Marie of France's growing power and confidence without making her seem anachronistic.
Lauren Groff's tale of an extraordinary nun finding her place in a world where women were not valued was mesmerizing. The wasI vivid and rich. I knew what it was to live in Marie's head and world. I would highly reccommend.
A tour de force
Groff has pulled it off again: writing historical fiction for the first time, she manages to make the 12th century both contemporary and exotic. Her research is evident on every page and fascinating. But it is the heart and soul of her heroine that stays with the reader. Haunting and beautiful.
This was a book that I really wanted to love, being a huge Lauren Groff fan, but it was hard for me to get through some of the too-detailed historical elements. It was a great first half, but I skimmed through the rest of it.
Like many people enraptured by "Fates & Furies," I've been waiting for the last six years to get my hands on a new Lauren Groff novel. Matrix is a different flavor entirely than Groff's previous work–a historic novel that focuses on the life of an illegitimate royal assigned to life at an impoverished abbey. The subject matter wouldn't necessarily compel me to pick this one up, but I trust Groff, and "Matrix" demonstrates why that's a wise decision. The abbess, based on the real historical poet Marie de France, quietly radicalizes her abbey, transforming it from a place of exile to a home and shelter, a place where women are shielded almost entirely from the opposite sex, and find succor, safety, and satisfaction in their work. Even if you skim right past the historical Easter eggs Groff carefully places in the book, it's a lovely, meditative read. I enjoyed it tremendously, and the only drawback is that once again I have to wait for Groff's next book.
I am a huge Lauren Groff fan. I loved Fates and Furies. And I liked the first part of this book. I wish I had researched Marie de France before I started the book. (I will suggest doing that to my customers.). Groff's depiction of 12th century Angleterre is specific, detailed, and perfect. Marie, tall, big, and homely, is lovingly portrayed with all her skills and faults.
I got bogged down about the last third of book and found myself skimming (never a good sign).
I think it will be a hard book to hand sell because of the time period, the subject, and the deep paragraphs.
This novel, imagining the life of Marie de France, was pure fun—especially after having read <i>The Corner That Held Them</i>—another tale of an abbey set a couple of centuries later—earlier this year. Groff inhabits the "what if" of history really adeptly, and Marie's story is interesting, spirited, and ultimately infused with a gentle affirmation of faith that doesn't grate.
As good as expected; actually better. I was taken by surprise by how much I liked Marie and how closely I identified with her worshipful devotion (and sense of betrayal by) the perfidious Eleanor.