Rated Reads

Fates and Furies

by Lauren Groff

Rated: DIRT

Lotto and Mathilde meet briefly at college and get married on the spur of the moment. In many ways, Lotto has led a good life — he had loving parents, until his father died when he was a young teen; his family had money. He was angry at his mother for sending him to a boarding school and for retreating into her chosen tiny home on the beach in Florida, but his college years were good. He discovered theater and found it to be his calling, but an acting career eluded him.

But a decade into his post-college, married life Lotto finds success as a playwright, and he and Mathilde are the envy of friends.

And that’s all I care to know. As much as the critics have hyped this novel, I couldn’t get past the beginning 60 pages. In that, there were about 10 uses of strong language, a brief scene of molestation by an adult teacher on a teen, and lots of references to sex. Lotto beds hundreds of women in college and there’s just a lot of crudeness and vulgarity along those lines. I had to put the book down because it just made me feel icky.

Rated: DIRT. Even if the book is “remarkable” or “stunning” in its revelations, the crudeness and sex were too much for me to get to appreciate those aspects of it. I couldn’t “invest more reading time.”

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Fates and Furies
  • by Lauren Groff
  • Rated: DIRT
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: