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Read With Us: The Matrix Discussion

It’s time to discuss our fall selection, Matrix by Lauren Groff. As we’ve been doing for the last little while, Kym and Bonny and I will each post a question (or two) on our blog today and we welcome your thoughts in the comments. In conjunction with this, we will also host a Zoom discussion tonight at 7pm EST. These discussions are lively and fun with absolutely no pressure from us to do anything but be present. If you’ve hesitated to participate I heartily encourage you to let that go and join us. Just let me know in the comments if you’d like a link to the Zoom meeting.

Okay, let’s talk about Matrix . . .

I’ll say, first and foremost, that I did not love this book. I found it to be dry and rather tedious and I had a hard time connecting with the characters and setting. The writing, however, is exceptional and that (along with the commitment to this group) is what kept me going. My question for all of you is this:

What did you think of Groff’s descriptive writing style. Were there some particular passages that really stuck with you?

Here’s a passage that I think really shows how gorgeous Groff’s writing is:

The light through the windows is watery and angled so that it shines through the breath of the nuns as they read aloud, the rising breath silvering, the streams of word made visible, word transformed to ghost as it rises from these mouths. The noise in the room is a low sweet hum without pause, the voices mixing so beautifully that the impression is not a tapestry of individual threads but a solid sheet like pounded gold. With their heads bent over their books like this, their words palely shining, she understands that the abbey is a beehive, all her good bees working together in humility and devotion. This life is beautiful. 

I await your responses! And do please join us tonight if you are able.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. I do remember that beautiful passage. Like so many others, I found Matrix to be a real slog to read though. I’m hoping that joining the Zoom discussion tonight will give me at least a little appreciation for the book!

  2. Well. I didn’t think it was a slog at all! 🙂 (And that’s what makes book groups so interesting. . . ) I really love Groff’s writing, and think she did a magnificent job setting the scene of a 12th century abbey for her readers. And her writing about Marie’s hot flash? Oh, I’ve never read anything quite so perfectly descriptive!

  3. I am with Kym… I did not find it to be a slog at all (but that does not mean I liked it! Ha!) I do think that the writing was so evocative… but I did not like how Marie changed (imo not for the better) over the course of the book. I am very excited to discuss this tonight!

  4. I highlighted the same passage! The writing was really something, and I’m glad to hear that you found value in reading the book for that even if you didn’t like the book itself. Looking forward to tonight!

  5. I did find this book to be a total slog for me. I did not like the story or the writer’s style. It seemed too self-involved to me. I read over half of it, but I just could not force myself to finish it. But that’s why there are different books for different folks!

  6. I agree that the writing is wonderful, I did find the first half very dry and may not have stuck with it if it wasn’t for the commitment I made. I only have a few more chapters to finish and have found the second half more interesting. I look forward to listening to the conversation.

  7. I read the Kindle version which was under 300 pages but I also found it a slog to get through. It took me about 3 weeks to get through and I think I just didn’t connect with the characters. I did enjoy some of the descriptions.

  8. I also didn’t connect with the characters. I was interested in the influence of men even though there were no male characters.

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