“Fates and Furies” is a novel about a happy marriage. That sounds pretty boring doesn’t it? So wait, do you mean there is no cheating, no murder? Just one happy couple? Yes, all of these are true and yet this is one of the most unique books I have read in a long time. What makes it interesting is that it examines how two people can view the exact same events with completely different views. Relationships always have two sides and the way each person views the relationship can be vastly different – even in a happy marriage.
The novel is broken out into two parts. The first, “Fates” is focused primarily on the the husband, Lotto. He is handsome and talented. He was born wealthy and loved. Raised by a doting mother and aunt he is unaware of how to take care of himself and is completely self absorbed.
Lotto meets Mathilde right at the end of college and falls madly in love with her. They quickly decide to marry in a secret ceremony. When Lotto tells his mother she is furious. She refuses to see him and stops sending him money.
After several years of married life that is rich with love but very short of money, Lotto finally strikes it big when he finds his talent as a writer. Suddenly they have both happiness AND financial success. His story goes on to tell about the rest of their life through his eyes focusing on his success and his passionate love affair with his wife.
The second part of the novel, “Furies” is told from the point of view of Mathilde. We finally learn more about her dark past and are filled in on many of the details that Lotto doesn’t seem to know about his wife. She re-tells several scenes that were already covered in Lotto’s section but with a very different perspective. And while this re-telling may sound boring, it’s one of the most interesting aspects of this book. It reminds you that your perspective is the only one you’ve got. But, oh by the way, your perspective can be completely different from the perspective of your spouse.
If you read this book, you will not be disappointed. And it may cause you to re-think some of the stories of you life in a new way.