Fates and furies | Lauren Groff

I picked this up after hearing the author interviewed. She was pretty cool and the book sounded intriguing, especially when she described the writing process (two opposite walls in her writing room each covered with notes on the two protagonists, and her darting from one to the other to develop the story.) That sounds like it could translate into an interesting work, I thought.

But it didn’t, reader. It didn’t at all.

The writing is amazing – poetic, lyrical, full of striking imagery. But the two vapid narcissists that are the central characters – bleeeeuuurrrgh. Both are monumentally ghastly, not to put too fine a point on it. Characters don’t have to be likeable to be interesting, and flawed is good, really good. But we’re constantly told how beautiful and amazing they are, and they aren’t. They are just tall, thin, white, rich and smug. To make matters worse, they have a cheerleader squad of adoring cardboard diversity characters; the horribly unconvincing token lesbians were particularly irksome. I couldn’t wait to finish it, as in, I just wanted it out of my life. The incredible prose was the only redeeming feature, and even that I ended up skimming in my urge to be finished with it.