Monday, July 4, 2016

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

A while back, President Obama read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, and he loved the book so much, it inspired him to invite Franzen to The White House. Well, I can go on and on about Freedom. I love that book so much. It is completely character driven, and the reader gets to know the most intimate parts of each character; we learn why each character does what he/she does. (I just love those stories where the author shows the complexity of being human.)

So, President Obama picked Fates and Furies as one of his favorite books of 2015. Being that I loved his selection of Freedom a while back, I had to give Fates and Furies a try, and it did not disappoint.


The fates part is all about this guy named Lotto whose life takes an unexpected turn, and we learn all about him and his life and what makes him who he is. He marries this girl named Mathilda after college, and in the furies part we learn all about Mathilda.

Through character development, we are able to fully understand each character and have full empathy for both of them. While I was reading this novel, I was wondering if we would have more fulfilling relationships with everyone in our lives if we knew why he/she did the things that he/she did. For instance, what makes a person shy away from the tough stuff, or what causes a person to blow up, or what causes a person to be completely driven.... If we knew these things, wouldn’t this solve a whole bunch of misunderstandings that are caused by many of us assuming why someone does what he does and acting on our assumptions. (However, life typically does not afford us to know many of the things that we would love to know.)

For instance, it appeared that Mathilda just happened to see Lotto and fall in love with him. However, we learn that there is much more to that meeting, and Lotto was never privy to those details. If he had known, would that had made a difference to him and maybe even impacted their relationship?

Based on President Obama’s love for Fates and Furies and Freedom, I would wager that he is a man who is concerned with human nature and what makes people tick. I am betting that in dealing with people, he is a person who seeks to understand before he jumps to a conclusion.... (I believe that the kind of books that we love can reveal a lot about us.)

My people, if you love human stories as much as I do and President Obama, then this is the book for you...


It is good to have a President who reads.....


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