I used to, but it started feeling stale to me, much like a lot of YA; any book I picked up in either genre for a while just felt like a lesser repetition of something I had read before. I hate predictability and pretentiousness, which a lot of recent literary fiction seems to have in spades. That’s why I tend to stick to fantasy or books that I completely expect to be predictable, like a Nora Roberts romance or some Christian fiction. Because sometimes predictability is comfortable, like a bubble bath for your brain.
Fates and Furies was most definitely NOT a bubble bath for my brain. I would’ve never picked this book up if it hadn’t been my bookclub’s selection this month, and I would’ve been missing out. I get the hype on this one, I really do. The book was pretentious, yes, but it had every right to be. It was never predictable. The writing was stunning. The characters were real, but I hope I never in my life meet anyone like any of them. I didn’t like them, and so I didn’t expect to feel any sympathy for them. But I did. There were times when I was uncomfortable or disgusted or both, but the book was so compelling that I never felt the urge to put it down, even though I found some of the content distasteful. And the writing was exceptional. Groff crafted something exquisite here, and managed to never give anything away until she was good and ready to do so.
I feel like I could write a fairly massive essay on this book, but I would hate to spoil anything for someone. Spoiler tags only help so much. I can see this book being taught in colleges one day, and would love to sit in on that discussion. It was a story of love and lies and fallibility and the grotesqueness that some seem to associate with real life. In my opinion, love is honest and forgiving and covers a multitude of sins. Life is mostly good, and people are mostly good. I’m an optimist. Groff’s writing comes across as extremely pessimistic to me. Life is hard, it’s true. I’ve been through my share of tough times. But I had an amazing God and husband and family and group of friends to get me through everything. I’m honest with them. I trust them. And so much of the pain in this book could’ve been avoided with some honesty and trust.
Did I like this book? No. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. It was a disaster, but a beautiful disaster, as enthralling as a hurricane or a wildfire or a lightning storm.