Monthly Archives: January 2016

First of 2016 – Fates & Furies

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“The deepest satisfaction gained by reading “Furies” after “Fates” lies less in admiring how tidily the puzzle pieces snap together — though they do — than in experiencing one’s own kaleidoscopic shift of emotions and concerns.” New York times review September 2015. Read the entire review here

From Penguin Books Readers guide.

Fates and Furies

Lauren Groff

QUESTIONS AND TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION

1.      Fates and Furiesis told in halves. Why do you think the author chose to narrate the story this way? How did the split storytelling affect your reading of the book? Might it be symbolic of the characters’ inner lives?

2.      Consider Mathilde’s final decision—to keep her past a secret for so many years. Do you think she should have told Lotto the truth? Think about whether this lie was truly for the best; could they have been happy if Mathilde had told him everything? Why do you think she kept this information to herself?

3.      How did the inclusion of Lotto’s writing affect your reading experience? Did Lotto’s plays help you to understand his character?

4.      Discuss the way the author presents Lotto’s writing talent. Mathilde has a significant hand in his success, but she is never recognized for it. Should she have taken the credit? Discuss the effect of stardom on Lotto’s understanding of himself and his marriage.

5.      Fates and Furies questions male vs. female perceptions of reality. Think about how the author approaches the notion of feminine anger. Mathilde is an incredibly angry character; do the men in her life allow for this anger? Why or why not? Do you think Lotto is a misogynist? And how does your vision of Lotto’s world change after hearing Mathilde’s side of the story?

6.      Mathilde’s relationship with Ariel is abusive. What does Ariel’s presence in the story say about Mathilde’s natural impulse toward revenge? Where is her reaction to her experience with Ariel directed at other characters?

7.      Think about setting. As the characters grow, they find themselves in ever-changing spaces. How does each setting compel their actions and, eventually, their relationships? Specifically, discuss Mathilde’s life in France, Lotto’s childhood in Florida, and how these geographical differences affect their union in New York.

8.      Fates and Furies spans a long period of time. Chronologically, the plot is very complex, though there is a central focus on Lotto and Mathilde. . How do Lotto and Mathilde change over the years, together and apart? Do you think they had a happy marriage?

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2016 Book Club List

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Dear Fellow Readers,

This group is going into its twentieth year. That is really hard to believe. We have grown and changed in many ways and in other ways we have not changed much at all. We are a group that has been the start of many new friendships. I always feel like we really like each other and are special to each other in a very unique way.  Here’s to another great year of new books and new friends. Here is the list of books. Check your emails the week before our standing day of the month for hosts and locations.  See you soon!

JANUARY  Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff
FEBRUARY  The Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell
MARCH  The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty
APRIL  When we were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
MAY-JUNE  Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins
JULY  A Land More Than Home by Wiley Cash
AUGUST  All the Light We Cannot See  By Anthony Doer
SEPTEMBER  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
OCTOBER  Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef –  by Gabrielle Hamilton
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II  By Jan Jarboe Russell