Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.
I have been reading this book for three weeks now because I was working every day and didn’t have a lot of free time. So I had a lot of time to think about the pages I read.
In the beginning I really liked the book because of the stories told about the main character Lotto. But as the plot progressed I was a little disappointed in the lack of drama. Don’t get me wrong, not every book has to have a dramatic revelation of secrets that is a turning point for the story.
But there is a certain quality to suspense, a plot moving forward, a peak and the turning point most stories have. Not all novels have this kind of scheme but there are usually using something along those lines. This novel had none of it. It promised me a book full of secrets and a wonderful marriage build upon those secrets. I expected suspence, maybe a divorce or so.
There were secrets alright, but it was just one happening after another. The secrets were revealed, but there were never consequences that would have led the plot forward. Rather, it was a kind of systematical style, pseudo-dramatic but dry, almost documentary-like writing style that told the story of this couple.
There was no suspense what so ever after the first 170 pages, almost no emotion or emotional writing, and I wanted to leave the book at a restaurant table for somebody else to read. But I pulled through and I can honestly say that it doesn’t get better.
There are scenes that were interesting and funny. Some were even quite shocking. But the plot was going basically nowhere and that was what made me read this book with such boredom.
So, my advice is read this book if you can look past the missing emotional link between the characters and missing suspense. The lives of those two, Mathilde and Lotto, is not boring. It’s just not eventful enough for me.