Matrix: Ambitious attempt to capture a long-ago life falls flat

Lauren Groff’s historical novel about a 12th-century French nun is expansive in its scope, but feels never-ending

Lauren Groff: a novel with noble concerns, but a story that takes forever to conclude



By Lauren Groff

William Heinemann, €19.89

Lauren Groff is one of those celebrated contemporary American novelists you’ve heard of but probably never read. She’s twice been a finalist at the US National Book Awards, and her stories regularly appear in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and elsewhere.

Her third novel, Fates and Furies, was chosen by Barack Obama as one of his books of the year in 2015. Even so, Groff blends into ...