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Matrix (2021)

por Lauren Groff

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1,6229110,889 (3.86)175
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 mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff's new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world.… (mais)
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Inglês (88)  Alemão (1)  Espanhol (1)  Holandês (1)  Todas as línguas (91)
Mostrando 1-5 de 91 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
DNF @ page 41/16%

The writing style is a slog to get through. It feels very wishy washy and half the time I have no idea what is going on. I also find Marie annoying. Like, girl, success is the best revenge. Stop pining for some stuck up bitch and get on with your life.
  LynnMPK | Apr 17, 2024 |
I expected to enjoy this book far more than I actually did. The hero, Marie de France, is someone known to have existed, but very little of her history is known. Which pretty much gave Lauren Groff carte blanche to write her story as she chose. In short, Marie, a bastard of noble birth is big and ungainly. Sent as a prioress to an impoverished and unimportant abbey, she successfully devotes her whole life to making it large, beautiful, and extraordinarily wealthy, Groff's research is impressive: she clearly understands the mediaeval religious life well. Her writing is striking, luminous. But I was entirely uninvested in the life of Marie de France and in the lives of her fellow-nuns. Dramas were quickly resolved: whole years, or even a decade or so passed in a single sentence. I didn't care for Marie a great deal - for her visions and her acquisitiveness - apparently for the glory of God. And really, it was matter of some indifference to me whether I finished the book: I did - for the quality of the prose, rather than the uninvolving narrative. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
Coming from just having finished The Monsters of Templeton, this was immensely enjoyable. The heartbreak, longing, vengeance, and rise of Mary were equal parts riveting and frustrating. The fantasy-esque elements of Groff's storytelling has been a pleasure to read, and the scenes in Matrix are worthy of some visual art representation. ( )
  postsbygina | Apr 13, 2024 |
As soon as I read the review for this book in People magazine, I reserved it at my public library. I expected to read about the inspiration a for Marie's poetry, and her inner life.
It is beautifully written, and focuses on her day to day life in the abbey over 50 years.
While there doesn't seem to be a storyline, it does depict her transformation from a willful young girl to a revered, feared, and insightful leader of women. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Apr 11, 2024 |
I opened this book thinking it was a historical novel. The fact that it is set in the twelfth century might have contributed to this. To me, the masters of historical fiction—Robert Graves, Gore Vidal, and Hilary Mantel, to name three of my favorites—use fiction to tap the inner feelings of historical personages without rewriting history.
What Groff offers instead is alternate history. Once I realized that, my resistance to it lessened, and I appreciated the way she used the paucity of facts to weave an imaginative tale. Mary, an illegitimate half-sister of King Henry II, was an abbess in Shaftesbury. Not much is known about her, apart from that. Whether she was the author of the Lais (narrative poems) and other works popular at court at the time is a matter of speculation. That author is known as Marie de France based on one line in a poem, where the author says Marie is her name and she is from France.
Mary of Shaftesbury is one of the many suggestions for identifying the mysterious Marie. Groff uses this to combine the two into one but goes further. Her Mary, while still young, glimpses an unclothed Eleanor of Aquitaine and is smitten. She then grows into a twenty-first-century feminist. Under her management, her abbey becomes wealthy and powerful, with features of Sappho’s finishing school (with the advantage that the girls who enter aren’t being prepared for marriage but remain in the cloister).
There is much fine, precise writing along the way, which helped hold my interest in the time it took me to recalibrate the genre. I found it harder to retain my attention for much of the second half, though; it consists of a series of incidents, more like a chronicle than a flowing story. However, I found the final chapters, recounting Mary’s last illness and death, moving. ( )
1 vote HenrySt123 | Apr 4, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 91 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Lauren Groff's Matrix is an inspiring novel that truly demonstrates the power women wield, regardless of the era. It has sisterhood, love, war, sex — and many graphic deaths, all entangled in a once-forgotten abbey in the English countryside. Matrix introduces a warlike poet-nun, based on the real medieval author Marie de France, who challenges the Catholic church and the very foundations of patriarchy — while also exploring womanhood and unbridled sexuality....Abbess Marie, venerated and ambitious, is driven by a mission to achieve greatness, something many women can identify with today. Matrix exposes the complexity of being a woman living in a world where men make all the rules, regardless of the era. But it also may leave you wondering whether this is a story about one woman's feminist aspirations — or her overzealous ambition.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarNPR, Keishel Williams (Sep 6, 2021)
 
Lauren Groff is one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed fiction writers in the country. And now that we’ve endured almost two years of quarantine and social distancing, her new novel about a 12th-century nunnery feels downright timely....When “Matrix” opens, Marie, all of 17 years old, is appointed prioress of a dilapidated abbey, founded centuries earlier, where a few nuns remain scavenging for food. The beautiful queen, whom Marie adores, frames this assignment as a great honor, but the young woman knows she’s “being thrown away like rubbish . . . sent into her living death alone.” ...Unable to leave and unwilling to fail, Marie brings her considerable physical and mental powers to bear on the abbey’s financial and managerial problems...inevitably, her efforts will conflict with the masculine tropes and rituals embedded in the Roman Catholic faith. How far she can push back against that outer world without provoking forces arrayed against her generates much of the novel’s suspense.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarWashington Post, Ron Charles (sítio Web pago) (Aug 31, 2021)
 
Groff is a heavily allusive writer whose narratives typically carry a freight of sophisticated references. In her new novel, “Matrix,” the work of Marie de France — the 12th-century poet who leavened her traditional Breton lais with a little fairy dust — provides Groff a literary springboard into a past whose features offer a mirror to our own time....Female ambition and power are the central themes of “Matrix,” a math-y title that’s hard to pry off the science fiction film franchise. But the word originates from “mater,” which is Latin for mother, and thus associated with the Virgin, whose second apparition reveals Eve as the “first matrix.” In Marie’s exalted perception, her womb brought death into the world; and without Eve there could be no Mary, “no salvatrix,” and thus no deliverance....From its inauspicious beginning in the person of a sullen, selfish, godless teenager banished by an empress to perish in squalor, Marie’s transformation is that of a woman upon whom greatness is not thrust but slowly gathers. An orphan entrusted with the lives of others, calling herself their mother, gradually, by force of will, by dint of hard experience, becomes exactly that. As she reflects on her deathbed, “greatness was not the same as goodness”; but it does make for a more compelling story line.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarNew York Times, Kathryn Harrison (sítio Web pago) (Aug 31, 2021)
 
Groff (Florida) fashions a boldly original narrative based on the life and legend of 12th-century poet Marie de France. After Marie is banished to a poverty-stricken British abbey by Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine at age 17 in 1158, she transforms from a reluctant prioress into an avid abbess.... Transcendent prose and vividly described settings bring to life historic events, from the Crusades to the papal interdict of 1208. Groff has outdone herself with an accomplishment as radiant as Marie’s visions.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarPublisher's Weekly (Jun 2, 2021)
 

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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 mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff's new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world.

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