In Laura Groff’s “Fates and Furies”, beginnings and endings combine in a character rich story about life, love and loss. Lancelot Satterwhite (Lotto), is born into a loving and wealthy family in sunny Florida, tied to his religiously zealous mother and his kind, mild mannered father. Lotto “would have been bright, ordinary if his years continued so. One more privileged kid with his privileged kid sorrows.” But when Lotto’s father suddenly dies, Lotto ventures out beyond his family, meets Gwennie, Michael and Chollie, experiments with drugs, alcohol and sex, and gets shipped off to boarding school in frigid New Hampshire at the age of 14. In boarding school Lotto discovers his love for acting, commences his “era of women” and appears to be fated to great things. Lotto goes off to Vassar, continues to pursue acting and women and meets Mathilde. Mathilde, also a student at Vassar, was “mythological. Friendless. Icy. She went weekends to the city; she was a model…She never partied.” Mathilde had no family and her background was mysterious. Lotto and Mathilde are married within three weeks of meeting, at the age of 22. Lotto’s mother disapproves and cuts him off, both economically and emotionally. Mathilde supports them while Lotto pursues his hopeless acting career. But in a sudden change of career path, his talent as a playwright takes off and Mathilde leaves her job in an art gallery and handles the business side of Lotto’s career. Lotto and Mathilde throw frequent parties and their marriage is the envy of their friends, particularly childhood friend Chollie. When the various fates, especially Lotto’s, have been realized, at least, from Lotto’s perspective, we start to learn about the furies (mostly, but not exclusively, Mathilde’s), all from Mathilde’s perspective. The furies part of the book is my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. The furies would not work without the fates. It is the fates half of the book that gives the furies it’s extra punch. The fates part of the story is rich with surprises and depth. We learn all about Mathilde’s childhood and college era, both of which deeply impacted her actions and emotions. Mathilde’s perspective on life is best illustrated by her observation that the traits and hurts that we start with in our lives expand and take over with the passage of time. “It occurred to her then that life was conical in shape, the past broadening beyond the sharp point of the lived moment. The more life you had, the more the base expanded, so that the wounds and treasons that were nearly imperceptible when they happened stretched like tiny dots on a balloon slowly blown up. A speck on the slender child grows into a gross deformity in the adult, inescapable, ragged at the edges.” This perspective colors her life and actions as she grows older. We also start to learn a little more about Chollie and the interesting interactions between Chollie and Mathilde. The furies part of the book is so interesting and surprising that I do not want to give too much away. You will just have to read the book and let me know if you agree! This book can be reserved at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on http://encore.cuyahoga.lib.oh.us/iii/encore/record/C__Rb11163936__X7?lang=eng&suite=gold.