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Matrix
Matrix | Lauren Groff
154 posts | 118 read | 5 reading | 85 to read
A remarkable historical novel by the bestselling author of Fates and Furies Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease. At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie's vision be bulwark enough? Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality and religious ecstasy in a mesmerising portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith and a woman that history moves both through and around.
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review
DMC_run8
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Beautifully written novel about a woman in the 12th century who is shipped off to a convent only to eventually become abbess and completely transform it. As someone who was raised Catholic there were a lot of situations I found humorous. I really enjoyed how the convent was its own matriarchal society within a larger society (and institution) that are not. 5⭐️

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jlhammar
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Matrix comes from the Latin for mother. Marie turns a failing abbey into a thriving, powerful haven for women in the 12th century. Great read.

#MomInTitle #MayMoms
@Eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

53 likes1 stack add
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Julsmarshall
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Interesting, dense, and with writing like a poem, this quiet book is just lovely. Slow in spots but worth your time. I‘ll be thinking about this one for a long time. #BookspinBingo @TheAromaofBooks Oh, and my 100th book read this year!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! And yay for book 100!! 2mo
67 likes1 comment
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Mogoeg
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

In this reimagining, Marie - royal bastardess - is brilliant, passionate, ambitious & ferociously ugly. Sent by the queen in 1158 to an abbey, Marie carves out an empire of abundance for herself & her fellow nuns - a place to thrive in safety.

Groff achieves something quite amazing here: not one male character is named, appears, or has a line of dialogue through the entire book. This is entirely a world of women & for women. Utterly engrossing.

Sparklemn Wow, you are absolutely right about the male characters. I didn't catch this when I read it. 2mo
BennettBookworm That‘s so cool! 1mo
76 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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JGadz11
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Damn, Gina.⛪️ #HappyEaster

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cherylmorton
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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“The labyrinth is being seen as an act of aggression. Women act counter to all the laws of submission when they remove themselves from availability. This is what enflames Marie‘s enemies.”

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Sapphire
Matrix | Lauren Groff
Mehso-so

I listened in audible. I enjoyed the first half but had to push through the second. I did not like this as much as the hype. I saw the author at the Savannah book festival and liked her more than I have enjoyed her books. But she is talented and her topics are interesting. She does good character development.

BarbaraBB I am with you! 3mo
21 likes1 comment
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Sparklemn
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

It took me a while to get into the story but I‘m glad I finished it. Listening to the audiobook, I had trouble keeping track of all the nuns. I think I may have enjoyed the print version a bit more. #librofm

Cathythoughts Love it 😁 👗 (edited) 3mo
46 likes1 comment
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JackieGreco
Matrix | Lauren Groff
Panpan

Meh. Kind of boring single story narrative about a nun who craves power and recognition. 2/5

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ErraticElle
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

The story is centered around Marie de France, a 12th century poet envisioned as the illegitimate sister of Eleanor of Aquitaine for this novel. A bit of a languid narrative with literary feel. The writing is gentle & casual with great historical context & a strong & brave female protagonist in Marie. The historical context is really atmospheric & well done. I really enjoyed my experience & I ABSOLUTELY be reading more Lauren Groff in the future.

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Readerann
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Mehso-so

Most everyone seems to love this book, but it just didn‘t resonate with me. I‘m not sorry I read it, but am also glad it was only 250 pages.
#ToB2022

Ruthiella I didn‘t love this one either. In the TOB commentary, supporters compared it to legends or myths where the hero has an obstacle and defeats it over and again, like Robin Hood or the Labors of Hercules. But I think that‘s exactly why it didn‘t work for me. 3mo
Readerann @Ruthiella Oh, that‘s interesting! Yeah, really not my ‘cup of tea‘, either. 3mo
20 likes2 comments
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marleed
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Often I read books with a similar theme so it‘s fun to come across a story unlike anything I‘ve read before. This was that kind of book. …As a woman I‘m fortunate to live some 800 years after this cloister of nuns and wonder what readers will think of our world in 800 years.

84 likes1 stack add
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Sophronisba
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Today's Morning News Tournament of Books quarterfinal match is between Matrix and The Trees. Matrix is about medieval nuns; The Trees is a satire about Emmett Till. A lot of people loved The Trees -- a lot of people want it to win the whole tournament -- but its broad humor got on my nerves, whereas Matrix features a cameo appearance of Eleanor of Aquitaine, so Matrix it is.

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janeycanuck
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Compelling but somehow, incredibly slow going. Groff's writing is so rich and immersive and she's done something really interesting with the story, weaving a tale unlike any I've read before.

Book 2/3 for #MarvellousMarch

rmaclean4 Loved this novel! 3mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 3mo
50 likes2 comments
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thatotherlisa
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Women act counter to all the laws of submission when they remove themselves from availability.

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Kazzie
Matrix | Lauren Groff
Pickpick

Loved this book! A beautiful story about women‘s strength and courage and love

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BarbaraBB
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Our winner today is Matrix. I know some of you loved this book and according to Meg and Margot it should even win the Tournament. In the real #ToB22 Matrix won as well. I don‘t agree at all with the judge‘s experience of reading Subdivision but that might be my disappointment - that book is my favorite.

It has been a great few ToB days, with lots of drama already and unexpected outcomes! Here‘s to zombies 🧟‍♀️ 🧟‍♂️ and to next week!

merelybookish Well I'm happy! 😀 Like the judge, Matrix has my ♥️. But I realize that is not true for everyone. And I get not loving Groff. 4mo
Well-ReadNeck I loved Geoff‘s The Monsters of Templeton and have picked up every subsequent book trying to find the magic of that one for me. Alas, the Matrix was the book that I just said, this author is just not for me. Subdivision, on the other hand, I thought was strange and quirky and I loved the unfolding and let it take me where it would. The only similarity with the judge‘s experience reading it that I had was a feeling of Alice and the Looking Glass. 4mo
BkClubCare @merelybookish - Ditto! I have Matrix #3 and Subdivision #4 on my overall list of “favorites” so this was a tough round for me. Cannot wait to have more discussion today on Subdivision because I have already forgotten the ending and have SO MANY questions! ❓ 4mo
See All 48 Comments
ImperfectCJ I loved both of these, so either outcome pleases me. The judge revealed more than I might have in discussing Subdivision. I feel strangely protective and tender towards that book, which for me was much more than the trippy read the judge makes it out to be. Even the things I liked about Matrix, the judge doesn't seem to hook into, including the wordplay with the title. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Well-ReadNeck I too loved going along with Subdivision, I was sorry when I finished it. I didn‘t like Alice though, to me it felt more like a computer adventure game in the 90s! 4mo
BarbaraBB @BkClubCare Yes, so many questions although I Iove all the interpretations I‘ve heard so far. 4mo
Addison_Reads I had a feeling this would be the outcome. I loved Subdivision and it was a Zombie vote for me so I hope it comes back. I was not a fan of Matrix, but today's outcome doesn't surprise me. 4mo
Well-ReadNeck @BarbaraBB ooooh, yes. I can see video game!!! The Alice element that resonates with me is the meta puzzles and references that circle back as the story continues. 4mo
Cinfhen I never read Subdivision and while I liked Matrix it didn‘t resonate with me the way it did with @Megabooks (AKA Birthday Girl 🥳💕🌈🎊♥️) 4mo
squirrelbrain I (unexpectedly) liked Subdivision, but not as much as Matrix so I‘m pleased with this outcome. 4mo
BkClubCare @Megabooks - Happy Birthday 🎈 4mo
Addison_Reads @BarbaraBB The video game description is a great way to talk about Subdivision. I definitely felt like I was in an adventure RPG while reading. @ImperfectCJ I understand your feeling about not wanting to reveal too much and being protective. I think part of what made me love Subdivision was letting myself come untraveled as the story did and I want others to be able to experience that without me ruining it. 4mo
merelybookish Happy birthday @megnews 💐🎉🦄🎂 I'm in good company rooting for Matrix! Also @BarbaraBB Thanks for organizing this. Over the last few years I had sort of lost interest in the TOB but this daily discussion has made it fun again. 🤗 4mo
BarbaraBB @Addison_Reads @ImperfectCJ I had no idea what the book was about or where it would go and I think I that‘s indeed the best way to dive into it. I understand your being protective about revealing too much! 4mo
BarbaraBB @merelybookish I‘m happy to hear that and am glad you‘ve joined! 🤩 4mo
Addison_Reads I'm a little curious because I haven't been a fan of any Groff books, and Matrix was my third book to try. Did anyone who wasn't already a fan of Groff like the Matrix? Because I'm thinking her writing style just isn't for me, but I can see where others would enjoy it. 4mo
merelybookish @Addison_Reads I loved Arcadia, hated Fates & Furies, and adored Matrix. My Groff theory is that she goes all in on an idea and it either works for you or it doesn't. 4mo
vivastory I just wanted to weigh in on this because these were 2 of the books on the shortlist that I read & are both among the best that I read this year. I haven't had a chance to read the decision yet, but I think that ultimately I would pick Matrix over Subdivision although it does feel a bit like comparing apples & oranges. 4mo
Addison_Reads @merelybookish thank you for answering. I think you have a very valid point about her writing. I really disliked Fates and Furies, and just lost interest while reading Matrix and Florida. I started out invested in Matrix, but then it felt like the same thing- problem, unsure how to solve it, problem solved: repeat. I do understand it's appeal to other readers though and could even see it winning in the #ToB22. 4mo
Hooked_on_books I‘m happy with today‘s judgment, as I loved Matrix and frankly hated Subdivision. I wasn‘t impressed with the write-up from the judge, though. I feel like she spoke very little about what the content of each book meant to her and largely just regurgitated the plot. 4mo
Hooked_on_books @Addison_Reads I had never read Groff before, and I loved Matrix. I love feminist stuff, and this was a serious fist pump of a feminist book, so I have no doubt that‘s why. (edited) 4mo
sarahbarnes I loved Subdivision and so am sad about this outcome. But, I do really want to read Matrix now. 4mo
Addison_Reads @Hooked_on_books the fact Matrix was such a great feminist book is the only reason I kept reading it after I started to lose interest, and I can appreciate it for that. I do agree with you though about the judge today. The comments for both books felt lackluster. It reminded me of when I'd scheme a book just to get a feel for it and write up an essay for school last minute. 😁 4mo
Addison_Reads @sarahbarnes happy to see another who loved Subdivision! 4mo
Hooked_on_books @Addison_Reads Yes, school essay was totally what I was thinking! 😆 4mo
thebluestocking Well, I‘m on Team Groff, so today‘s results work for me on both fronts. There was nothing for me to grab on to in Subdivision. It felt weird for the sake of being weird at times. But I also totally get how it would intrigue other readers. 4mo
Suet624 I‘m a total Groff fan-girl so I‘m happy. However, I passed on reading Subdivision. I will say, though, that I don‘t think Matrix should win the TOB. 4mo
Ruthiella @Addison_Reads I believe I also understand the appeal of Groeff‘s style to other readers, but I hated F&F and didn‘t like Arcadia or Matrix either. Her writing is lush in a way I don‘t appreciate. And yeah, the plot of Matrix was meh. She sees an obstacle. She overcomes it. Yawn. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Addison_Reads I have read F&F, Florida and Matrix. All were highly praised by people I trust and yet I didn‘t really like any of them. 4mo
Addison_Reads For those who read Subdivision, I have a question in my next post. I'm marking it as a spoiler. @BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes @ImperfectCJ I know you liked the book so I'm tagging you. 4mo
Addison_Reads At the end of Subdivision, do you think the narrator is dead? 4mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory You are right about the comparison, but that‘s fun about the ToB. Mostly. Today I am very disappointed because Matrix did do nothing for me and I loved 4mo
BarbaraBB @Addison_Reads No, I like to think that the doctors and her kid were able to prevent that she dies (the obstruction of the road into the city). What did you think? 4mo
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes I am really sad too 4mo
Addison_Reads @BarbaraBB I agree with you about the ending I've just seen a lot of other people saying she died at the end, but I didn't feel that way at all, so I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I know Lennon leaves it open-ended, but there were hopeful clues that made me think she survives. 4mo
cariashley Once again I‘m coming to our glorious commentary late in the day! I‘m happy with the outcome here, I had a hard time picking between these two because I liked both of them so much. Subdivision had a slight edge because the surreal-ness really worked for me, which is rare. 4mo
Mindyrecycles I liked Matrix very much but I loved Subdivision so am a little sad. I can‘t imagine Subdivision being zombied. 4mo
ImperfectCJ @Addison_Reads I kept looking for solid clues that she survives, but I'm really not sure. I suspect she dies, although I really hope she survives and has a chance to live her life with her new discoveries. Do you think they would stick, her hard-won lessons, if she did get to go back? And if she survives, do you think her baby survives, too? 4mo
BarbaraBB @cariashley Exactly that. I was surprised too how well it worked for me! 4mo
BarbaraBB @ImperfectCJ I‘m not sure either, but I like to interpret it that way. I‘m less sure about the baby. Also I‘ve been wondering about the role of the talking doll (I forgot the name), what did you think of her? @Addison_Reads 4mo
BarbaraBB @Well-ReadNeck @BkClubCare @ImperfectCJ @Addison_Reads @sarahbarnes @cariashley @Mindyrecycles I came upon this interview on YouTube. Might be interesting for us Subdivision fans: https://youtu.be/1muaymvDPJs 4mo
BarbaraBB @Mindyrecycles I so hope it will be zombied! But I haven‘t even voted for it myself - hadn‘t read the book yet at the time 🤞🏽🤞🏽 4mo
cariashley @BarbaraBB wow, what a fascinating interview! I got hooked and watched almost the entire thing. I‘m definitely going to pick up his short stories, that first one about marriage and coffee that he read was hilarious. 4mo
sarahbarnes @Addison_Reads @BarbaraBB @ImperfectCJ I‘m late to this but@love hearing all of your thoughts on Subdivision. To me it felt like she was in the subdivision because she had to process trauma, and that she does in the end and is able to move on with her life and survive. 4mo
ImperfectCJ @BarbaraBB You mean Cylvia, the smart device thing? I thought of that as almost her conscience, like the little voice that knows what's up and knows what's dangerous but that she's suppressed so long she doesn't recognize it as herself. 4mo
Addison_Reads I felt like you about Cylvia, @ImperfectCJ that it was her conscience and of course then it turns into the bird and flies away, which I wasn't expecting. If there was another talking doll in the story I missed it @BarbaraBB Although the more we talk about it, the more I want to reread this book and see what I pick up on this time. 4mo
ImperfectCJ @Addison_Reads And of course when it becomes a bird, it stops talking. So maybe her voice no longer needs to be externalized? I just listened to the interview, @BarbaraBB . It was quite interesting!Thank you for sharing that (except I added five titles to my TBR...) 4mo
kwmg40 I'm happy to see Matrix move forward, but I really liked Subdivision and I agree with the video-game comparison. 4mo
61 likes48 comments
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Sophronisba
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Day four of the Morning News Tournament of Books! Today is Lauren Groff's Matrix vs. J. Robert Lennon's Subdivision.

My choice would be Matrix: it's got nuns and a scriptorium and Eleanor of Aquitaine. There is nothing more I could ask of a work of historical fiction. It also passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors -- there's not even a speaking part for a male character. And of course everything Groff writes is just beautifully composed.

Sophronisba I did not like Subdivision as much, but it's not a bad book -- it's a cleverly constructed puzzle novel, and it just so happens that I do not like puzzle novels. (And I certainly don't like them as much as I like novels about medieval nuns.) I know lots of readers who were really into this book and I think it's got a great shot of beating Matrix, devastating though that would be. 4mo
BarbaraBB So excited for today‘s outcome! I am one of those Subdivision fans 🤞🏽 4mo
12 likes2 comments
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youneverarrived
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

I love an atmospheric book and this definitely is that. The writing is stunning, the sense of place is spot on and the main character Marie is brilliant; the way her perspective changes as she grows older and her relationships with the other women in the abbey. One I won‘t be forgetting any time soon. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

vivastory This was the first book that I read this year & I'm pretty sure it will end up on best of the yr. list. Just brilliant. 4mo
LeahBergen What a pretty photo! 4mo
sarahbarnes I wasn‘t going to read this one, but now I might have to try it! 4mo
See All 12 Comments
squirrelbrain Great review! ❤️ 4mo
AmyG I loved this book, too. 4mo
TrishB Loved it too ♥️ 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍❤️ 4mo
youneverarrived @vivastory what a book to start the year with. The more I think about it the more I like it. Think it‘ll stay with me. 4mo
youneverarrived @LeahBergen it‘s one of my favourite places to go 🤍 4mo
youneverarrived @sarahbarnes I‘d definitely recommend it, especially if you like books with atmosphere! 4mo
69 likes1 stack add12 comments
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Augustdana
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Not me almost literally finishing this at the last possible minute. Couldn‘t be me. I‘ve never cut it this close before 🤣🤣🤣

24 likes1 stack add
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youneverarrived
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Typical that two library holds I‘ve had for months are available at the same time, when I‘m in the middle of two long books. Which one to read first? 📚

vivastory I haven't read Seven Husbands, but I loved Matrix 4mo
Mitch Two very different books! Id go for Matrix along with @vivastory ! 4mo
jlhammar Matrix is great. Haven't read Seven Husbands yet. 4mo
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AmyG Both are wonderful! 4mo
Megabooks Matrix! 4mo
60 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Augustdana
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Happy long weekend!! Stay toasty.

ChaoticMissAdventures I really loved this read, hope you enjoy it! 4mo
Augustdana @ChaoticMissAdventures it‘s my first Groff, I‘ve heard good things. Can‘t wait to really dig in. 4mo
21 likes2 comments
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Laughterhp
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Thanks for giving me the push to read this one @Megabooks !

My first Lauren Groff book. I wasn‘t sure how I was going to feel about a book about nuns. I was raised catholic but am 0% religious. However, I‘m glad it didn‘t focus too much on religion and more about life at the abbey and building it up.

#Booked2022 - book about religion or cult
#FabulousFebruary - Book 1 finished
#12Challenge

Megabooks So glad you enjoyed it! 4mo
Cinfhen It‘s a good atmospheric read!!! I wouldn‘t mind if this book advances or even wins the #TOB 4mo
Andrew65 Great 👏👏👏 4mo
73 likes3 comments
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ImperfectCJ
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

A cautionary tale of what happens when women are allowed, for a little while, to govern themselves. This novel has rich characters, a (mostly metaphorical) hypothesis for the cause of global climate change, and probably way more Latin wordplay than I was able to catch. Adjoa Andoh did an incredible job narrating the audiobook. #ToB2022

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Laughterhp
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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I have an unintentional theme going on, can you spot it?

#BookReport - Finished 2 books this week. Hubby is back home so we‘ve been catching up on TV.

#CurrentlyReading - tagged book, about 70 pages in. Listening to Daisy Jones, but not sure I like it 😬. I knew I avoided it for a reason. And reading Stitch of time on ebook.

#WeeklyForecast - Pick up these 2 books and not sure what else.

Bookzombie They are all women-centered or female led stories? 4mo
56 likes1 comment
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Laughterhp
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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This weekend I‘ll be switching between the tagged book in print and A Stitch in Time by Kelly Armstrong on my ereader.

#WeekendReading

Andrew65 Happy reading. 4mo
37 likes1 comment
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bookish_wookish
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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This one is due back to the library in 3 days so i gave to get going on this one!

Hopefully its a quick read!

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charl08
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

I do love this cover.
Especially liked the first half of this book.

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cariashley
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Groff is one of my favorite writers; I‘ve read all of her books. Matrix is so different and ambitious - it reminded me of Hilary Mantel. Mysticism and spiritualism aren‘t really my thing, but feminism and power dynamics are, so I liked this a lot (although maybe it‘s fairer to say I was impressed by it). A historical novel without any men in it is really quite the feat.

Book 11 for #tob22 and my second favorite, behind Ozeki.

BarbaraBB Wow! Quite a recommendation! 5mo
kwmg40 I liked this one too, and good point about historical novels without any men in them! 5mo
thebluestocking Good point about impressed. I didn‘t love it but I was certainly impressed. Lauren Groff is an amazing writer. 4mo
54 likes3 comments
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Mindyrecycles
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

4 stars for Matrix. I very much liked Marie‘s story and her strength, and the writing was really beautiful. Visions and mysticism aren‘t my things at all; I think Marie had what she needed within herself. But since her visions are part of the meager historical record, I put up with them. 😂 #tob22 #historicalfiction

Yossarian I think I had my expectations set too high after Fates and Furies. Matrix was good, but I felt let down by it. 5mo
Mindyrecycles @Yossarian My only prior experience with Groff was her short story collection, Florida. 5mo
Yossarian Fates and Furies had an amazing “twist” halfway through that made me want to completely re-read it. It‘s like if M. Night Shamalayan directed The Godfather. It‘s a great movie, but you kept waiting for Marlon Brando to reveal he was an alien, or dead, or it was all a simulation— and it never happened. 5mo
76 likes1 stack add3 comments
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bibliothecarivs
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

A loving portrait of a woman on fire.
solum mihi scriptum erat - it was written only for me

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charl08
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Nothing can drive out the disease: not praying, not bathing them in holy water, not tying them to their beds, not leaping out from the night to frighten them, not holding them by the ankle in the cold river, not beating them around the head with a yew branch, not burying them crown to toe in warm manure, not hanging them upside down from a high tree and spinning them until they vomit, not drilling a tiny hole through their skulls...

DrexEdit 😨😵‍💫 5mo
57 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Erinreadsthebooks
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Right now, I‘ve got to set it down. I think the timing is off, and this one is going to take more concentration than I can put out at the moment. I‘ll come back to it one day. In fact, Marie and I will probably be big friends one day. Just not today.

40 likes1 stack add
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ManyWordsLater
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Mentally, I am still in this book that I finished two weeks ago.

Wish I hadn‘t had to give it back to the library….📚📚📚

perfectsinner I've been on the fence about this one! 5mo
68 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BkClubCare
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Pick 🙌
I am a fan of Groff. I think she is bold and smart; her writing has a confidence and an invitation to come play in her sandbox but on her terms, if you dare.
This was only my second book by this author; it won‘t be my last.
#BookSpinBingo #DoubleSpin
@TheAromaofBooks
#tob2022 #audiobook #fabulousnarration #DogsofLitsy

BkClubCare Happy National Pie Day 🥧 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5mo
thebluestocking Well said. I‘m a fan too! 💙 5mo
52 likes3 comments
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bb623
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

I‘ve read all four of Lauren Groff‘s novels. I was delighted by “The Monsters of Templeton.” I kept reading “Arcadia” while trying to decide if I liked it and wound up crying at the end. “Fates and Furies” repulsed and fascinated me. My reaction to “Matrix” is much like “Arcadia” - not sure and then boom! What a story and what a main character.

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AliD73
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Bailedbailed

Such a disappointment. I wanted to like this book. I like Groff‘s use of language, but this book was terrible. I felt like the author couldn‘t decide if she wanted this to be historical fiction or outright fantasy. It was so unbelievable and historically inaccurate that it was ludicrous. I don‘t want to post spoilers, but about 2/3 of the way through the book the story becomes ridiculous. I couldn‘t suspend disbelief enough to finish this.

AliD73 I want to add to my review that I understand the genre of fantasy, and I have enjoyed such novels many times over the years. The author of this novel, however, seemed to me to be unable to decide if she wanted this to be fantasy or historical fiction. Even with fantasy, the author must inspire the reader to suspend disbelief enough to believe the fantastical elements of the story. Groff failed to do that. The story just didn‘t work; It was silly. (edited) 5mo
BarbaraBB I know what you mean 🤷🏻‍♀️ 5mo
AliD73 @BarbaraBB Thank you. This book seems to be universally loved; I‘m definitely in the minority regarding my opinion of it. It‘s good to know there are other readers who agree with me. 5mo
TrishB I don‘t think there‘s anything wrong with having a different opinion to the majority 🤷‍♀️ that‘s why we all read. I like reading different opinions. It‘s happened to me many times. 5mo
AliD73 @TrishB Thank you, I agree. 5mo
8 likes5 comments
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BkClubCare
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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I am not yet convinced that audio was the best choice for me to experience this - haven‘t quite had the best conditions to listen, maybe. So tonight! #audiobaking time! #LitPie #CaresPieShow 🍋 #LemonTarts #MiniPies
I have encountered two pie references so far!

thebluestocking I listened into it on audio too. It took me a bit to get into it, but eventually it worked. I hope it does for you too! 5mo
Kimzey 😋 I approve of audio baking! Looks delicious 5mo
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bernadette
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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I picked this one in impulse at the library, not knowing much about it but knowing I‘ve seen the book around. It is not what I expected from the title. The year is 1158 and a young girl is sent to a faraway abbey. She doesn‘t want to be a nun and has little religious feeling but she is an orphan and her pedigree is troubled. I didn‘t think it sounded particularly interesting at first but the prose brings it alive and the story moves fast.

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Lcsmcat
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

I liked but didn‘t love this story of Marie. Things I liked were the development of Marie as a character, and her slow path to wisdom and acceptance. Didn‘t need the graphic sex scenes and some of the environmental references seemed anachronistic. But it did send me diving into online rabbit holes exploring part of English history that I knew little about. #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 6mo
60 likes1 comment
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azulaco
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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The rest of my half price hardback splurge arrived yesterday. Happy New Year to me! #tob2022 #TournamentofBooks

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Booksnchill
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Mehso-so

Set in the 12th century the story follows Marie de France and her removal to an abbey by Eleanor of Aquitane. Full of the triumph of the feminine overcoming the poverty and dismissal of all things female, this book is more lyric tale than narrative. Short and clearly well researched it was only a 3⭐️ for me although I suspect I am in the minority.

EliNeedsMoreShelves I also felt kinda meh about this one. 6mo
Ruthiella You are not alone. I disliked it. 6mo
Tamra This was a so-so for me too. 6mo
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Booksnchill @EliNeedsMoreShelves @Ruthiella @tamra @britt_brooke I have gone and looked at reviews from others and see that this is not an uncommon reaction. This was my first Groff and I read it because the subject and length appealed- oh well. 6mo
britt_brooke @Booksnchill I‘m happy you saw my review! It was my first Groff, too. Interesting premise, and beautiful writing, but couldn‘t hold my attention. (edited) 6mo
Tamra @Booksnchill I was really looking forward to it - the premise was intriguing! But it felt sorta of flat or mono dimensional. Hard to put my finger on it. 6mo
Booksnchill @Tamra agreed, like there was an agenda I was not following. 6mo
EliNeedsMoreShelves @Booksnchill I felt like the author was purposefully holding readers at a distance from the story. Like, she left the facts in but took out all the emotion. 6mo
Booksnchill @EliNeedsMoreShelves a very interesting observation- I love the way people have considered this book and not just dismissed it. I found the large leaps of time left me thinking the best bits of Marie were perhaps found there? 6mo
EliNeedsMoreShelves @Booksnchill I very much understand this. I will say that Groff certainly left me with the urge to learn more about Marie, if nothing else. 6mo
65 likes10 comments
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Addison_Reads
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Mehso-so

I disliked Fates and Furies, but after seeing so many great reviews about this book I decided to try. I've discovered though that I'm just not a fan of Lauren Groff.

While the prose is beautiful, and Marie is a strong character, the lack of plot made this tedious to finish. I did like how this started and ended, but the rest of the book felt repetitive and bored me.

Luckily the narrator did a wonderful job reading it or I might have bailed.

fredthemoose 100% agree! 6mo
Tamra Agreed! 6mo
Hooked_on_books Yes, the narrator was fantastic! 6mo
55 likes3 comments
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Soubhiville
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

I feel like this is a book I‘m going to want to read again.

I love the ways Marie kept thinking up to improve her life and that of her sisters, and that when challenged about how her status has grown and how the abbey flourished, she always manages to twist things back to her favor.

The writing is beautiful and tender. I loved the ending.

(Igor here is cozying up against the chilly TX night.)

RaeLovesToRead Aww, Igor! 🥰 6mo
DinoMom Igor is beyond handsome ❤️ 6mo
Christine Yes re: reread! I did the audio and want to do the print. 6mo
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AmyG I am so happy you liked this! 😘 to Igor. 6mo
BookBosomed1 I loved this book. I often don‘t reread books but I might make an exception for this one. Igor 🥰 6mo
Soubhiville @AmyG it was different than anything I‘ve read before. She‘s quite a writer. I loved her Short Stories- Florida (I don‘t usually like SS that much), and Arcadia was really good too. Thank you for sharing it with me! (edited) 6mo
Megabooks Fantastic review! 6mo
kspenmoll Great review- in my TBR! 6mo
Hooked_on_books When I originally read the description for this book, I was not interested. But then it landed on the NBA list, so I read it and was utterly delighted! Glad you liked it, too! 5mo
105 likes9 comments
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BkClubCare
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Thank you to our host for the fun activity and my friend @La_Cori for inspiring the alteration of the image! I hope to listen to Matrix (for #TOB2022) and read print of the Baldwin (for #CC50). #BookSpinBingoJan2022

Does anyone have an opinion if Matrix could be considered “genre-blending”? I need to fit that category for the #ReadICT Challenge.

Hooked_on_books I‘d say Matrix blends historical fiction and feminist lit, so yes! 6mo
BkClubCare @Hooked_on_books - OOooooo 😊 thank you 6mo
Ruthiella I agree. For me it was a blend of historical fiction and fantasy...(the labyrinth, the female environment devoid even of male priests, her visions, etc.). 6mo
31 likes3 comments
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vivastory
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

It's not often that I read historical fiction, however I have read enough hf to know what I am looking for. Groff's latest checked all of the boxes, & more, in her visionary & feminist novel about Marie de France. How much of it was true? I don't know, & I honestly don't care a whole lot. If I wanted a book that adhered strictly to “the truth“ I'd read a book about European history covering this time period, not a novel. Here is the publisher's👇

vivastory description of the beginning of Matrix, “Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease.“ Marie must make a place for herself at her new abbey & in the process reveals herself to be a remarkable individual. This one had 6mo
vivastory interesting moments of palace intrigue in the abbey alongside hard truths & memorable descriptions of Marie's visionary states. This was a stellar first read of '22! Pictured here during a brief intermission with a cup of hot chocolate this afternoon as we received our first inclement weather of the season this morning. #NewYearWhoDis @monalyisha @megabooks (edited) 6mo
Branwen YES! 👏👏👏 I'm do glad this one captivated you! 6mo
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vivastory @Branwen It did! I will be thinking about it for awhile. 6mo
Megabooks So happy you enjoyed and it AND wrote a fabulous review! 👍🏻 6mo
vivastory @Megabooks Loved it! Looking forward to the other books 📚📚 6mo
Cathythoughts Great review! I loved it too. I‘m waiting for Arcadia to come in the post to me 😄 (edited) 6mo
vivastory @Cathythoughts Thanks! I have Arcadia on my TBR shelves. Hope to read it soon. 6mo
Simona This one is still on my TBR list 🤗 Nice review! 6mo
vivastory @Simona I think you're going to like it. Happy New Year 🎉🍾📚 6mo
readordierachel This sounds excellent! 6mo
monalyisha I kind-of wish this one was on my list, tbh. I have it checked out from the Library right now but I think I need to return it, as I‘m not sure I‘ll have time for it this month. 🙈 It looks so, so good! 6mo
vivastory @readordierachel You are going to love it! 6mo
vivastory @monalyisha I love Groff, so I might be a bit biased, but it seems like even people who typically don't care for her work have been deeply moved by it. It's going to be on my best of the year list, which is bizarre to say since it's the first book I read this year but I feel pretty confident 6mo
merelybookish Great review! I also didn't care if it was historically accurate. That wasn't the point! It just burned with some other truth. 6mo
vivastory @merelybookish Thanks! That's a great way to phrase it! I think there are truths that fiction helps us reach that other forms are unable to 6mo
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vivastory
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Marie has to rescue the severed head from the novices, who are taking turns playing Judith with it.

(Pic credit: Judith with the head of Holofernes by Allori)

merelybookish I'm excited! Does this mean you like it? 😀 6mo
vivastory @merelybookish Love it! I have a little over 50 pages left 6mo
merelybookish @vivastory Yay! And sorry for the pressure. You know how when you love a book, you want everyone else to love it too! 😁 6mo
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vivastory @merelybookish I completely understand! I'm glad that I made it my first book of the year 😃 6mo
batsy What a great quote! To go with that painting. 6mo
vivastory @batsy I *almost* used Gentileschi's painting, but I thought that might be a bit too jarring to pop up randomly on a feed 6mo
70 likes6 comments
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BookwormM
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

#ARC #Netgalley #Matrix

My last read of 2021

I enjoyed Groff‘s writing & found the development of the Abbey fascinating. Loved how quick witted Marie is & how she managed 2 outsmart everyone who attempted to challenge her authority. The secondary characters were great to & it was interesting to see what Groff imagined life in an all-female enclave would look like.

Full review here https://thereadersroom.org/2022/01/01/matrix-by-lauren-groff/

kwmg40 Glad to see you liked this one too! I agree with all your comments. 6mo
55 likes1 comment
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kwmg40
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

Many people seem to either love or hate this #TournamentOfBooks #ToB22 selection. I definitely belong in the first camp. I listened to the audiobook and found Adjoa Andoh's narration mesmerizing.

#WinterGames2021 #TeamGameSleighers #LittenListen #AVeryMerryReadathon #BookSpinBingo #ChristmasMyWay #20in4
@StayCurious @aperfectmjk @TheSpineView @TheAromaofBooks @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES @Andrew65

DieAReader 🎉🎉🎉 6mo
Ruthiella I‘m in the latter camp! 😂 But I think I understand the appeal to other readers. 6mo
kwmg40 @Ruthiella I too can understand the complaints about the book. I can't wait to see the ToB commentary on this novel! 6mo
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Cathythoughts I‘m a first camper like you. 👍❤️ 6mo
TheSpineView Fabulous! 6mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 6mo
BookwormM I am on the last 20 pages now 6mo
kwmg40 @Cathythoughts Glad to have some company! 6mo
kwmg40 @TheSpineView @Andrew65 Thanks for the encouragement! 6mo
kwmg40 @BookwormM I'll be interested in hearing what you think of it! 6mo
38 likes10 comments