the next good book


By Lauren Groff


272 pages

***I read this about a year ago and somehow it was never posted.  Better late than never!   Matrix by Lauren Groff 257 pages What’s it about? Marie is a 17-year-old half royal orphan when Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine sends her to live in a an impoverished abbey, where she will eventually become the prioress.  She is deemed unfit to stay at court because of her ungainly appearance and perhaps her strange ways.  She is initially inconsolable under the care of the old abbess, but she soon finds her place.  The story is based loosely on the life of the 12th century poet Marie de France. What did it make me think about? Faith, mysticism, and the sheer power of women. ​ Should I read it? This is a very different review than I thought I would write.  Initially I was  forcing myself to read a few pages of “Matrix” at a time. I thought I would just plod through the story for the beautiful sentences.  Little did I know I would slowly be drawn into the world of the Abbey, and begin to look forward to some time with the nuns.  This is by far my favorite book by Lauren Groff, and while it might not be for everyone, it is a masterful story from a very talented writer. Quote- ​”The need to enlarge the abbey she has thought of as an extension of her own body.  Her actions always in reaction to the question of what she could have done in the world, if she had only been given her freedom.” ​”All souls are limited in the circles of their own understanding.”

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