THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
by Lauren Groff
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh
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Pub Date 23 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 24 Sep 2021
Penguin Random House UK Audio, Cornerstone Digital
NOW AVAILABLE TO PREORDER: the new historical novel from the bestselling author of Fates and Furies
'Luminous, divine, her masterpiece' DAISY JOHNSON
'An audacious piece of storytelling, full of passion, wisdom and magic' SARAH WATERS
'Lauren Groff is a virtuoso' EMILY ST JOHN MANDEL
'How mesmerising can twelfth century nuns be, even in the hands of Lauren Groff? I had barely started it before I was bloody well blaspheming with delight. Matrix is a gorgeous, sensual, addictive read' SARA COLLINS
Seventeen-year-old Marie, too wild for courtly life, is thrown to the dogs one winter morning, expelled from the royal court to become the prioress of an abbey. Marie is strange - tall, a giantess, her elbows and knees stick out, ungainly.
At first taken aback by life at the abbey, Marie finds purpose and passion among her mercurial sisters. Yet she deeply misses her secret lover Cecily and queen Eleanor.
Born last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, women who flew across the countryside with their sword fighting and dagger work, Marie decides to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. She will bring herself, and her sisters, out of the darkness, into riches and power.
MATRIX is a bold vision of female love, devotion and desire from one of the most adventurous writers at work today.
'A thrillingly vivid, adventurous story about women and power that will blow readers' minds. Left me gasping.' EMMA DONOGHUE
'Both epic and intimate, this sweeping novel explores questions of female ambition, creativity and passion with electrifying prose and sparkling wit. A propulsive, captivating read' BRIT BENNETT
|EDITION||Other Format, Unabridged|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Lauren Groff for a copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book, and was not expecting to - a book about nuns and poetry...
The book is based on the true story of Marie de France, potentially the first female french poet. Both the story and narrator brought this tale to life and I was hooked throughout - I think I listened to this all in one day!
I would definitely recommend this narrator and will be looking for more audiobooks read by her!
Matrix is, without a shadow of doubt, a masterpiece. Utterly mesmerising; a bold and and entertaining tale which bears no resemblance to anything I’ve ever read.
The story is set in the mid 1150s, a dull and dark time in British history. Marie, the central character is expelled from the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Henry ll and sent as a prioress of a nunnery. It’s an inauspicious premise for a rollicking tale which, to my surprise, had me totally captivated from the start. Marie is exceptional in every way. She’s a giant, literally, who stands two heads too high. She’s educated, intelligent and longs to gain favour with Queen Eleanor, return to court and her lover, Cicely.
The novel follows her over some fifty years and the storytelling is captivating. Goff explores so many themes, particularly the role of women in a male and religiously dominated world. But it’s under the guise of a brilliant and humorous narrative where ideas are thrown around and the reader has to catch them. Her writing is very visual and descriptive. A nun’s face is likened to that of an over ripe meddlar fruit. On arriving at the run down nunnery, she encounters two nuns. One is mad and the other angry and after 30 hours on the road, she falls off her horse into a pile of manure. Such passages had me laughing; the humour throughout is balanced and brings every scene to life.
This is a story which works at every level. It’s a rollicking good tale in the tradition of Fielding’s Tom Jones, in that there’s a purpose behind the story. Marie is on a quest of empowerment and change; the reader becomes one of her followers. This is simply the most original and enthralling book I’ve read for some time. I listened to the audio version and the narration is superb.
My thanks to the publisher for a review copy via Netgalley. This is a book I’ll be buying in hard copy, it’s so good I want it on my shelf.
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