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A Financial Times and NPR Best Book of 2021
A Virginia Living Favorite Book (2021)

Lauren Groff returns with her exhilarating first new novel since the groundbreaking Fates and Furies.

Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, 17-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.

Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Matrix Reviews

  • Roxane

    This is pretty exceptional. A novel about a 12th century abbey and the nun who leads it into prosperity after being banished there is not a story I would have thought I might enjoy. But I did. This is...

  • Roman Clodia

    I need to say that my 2-star rating is entirely subjective (what else would it be?) and that other readers liked this far more than me. I would venture to add that the less one knows of Marie de Franc...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Breathtakingly beautifully written….. WONDERFUL as can be……Lauren Groff is STAND OUT TALENTED!!! Truly one of our most gifted authors of our day!!!I was worried before I started this— afraid I...

  • Jen

    I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up. Ratings have been all over the place. But I adored Fates and Furies so I was drawn to this author.It’s the 12 century. Seventeen year old Marie ...

  • Marchpane

    Longlisted for the National Book Awards 2021 ‘For it is a deep and human truth that most souls upon the earth are not at ease unless they find themselves safe in the hands of a force far greater t...

  • BlackOxford

    SisterhoodI may not understand Groff’s intention with this book. Or perhaps I do, in which case I don’t like it. It is historical fiction only in the broadest sense that a woman called Marie Abbes...

  • Henk

    Well written but the cycles of (i) curveball challenge to an prioress/abbess establishing oneself, (ii) solution, (iii) some lesbian sex and (iv) observation on monastic life really bored me after a w...

  • Barbara

    I am a longtime fan of author Lauren Groff, with my favorite being “Fates and Furies”. Her new novel, “Matrix”, is about a 12th century nun which I read with trepidation. I could not imagine a...

  • Darryl Suite

    Here’s the thing: gorgeous writing, but I wasn’t invested at all. I really loved the first chapter; convinced I was in store for a new classic. Unfortunately, my interest waned shortly afterward. ...

  • Tammy

    In her inimitable style Groff tells of the life of Marie of France or Mary of Shaftesbury (depending on the resource consulted) about whom little is known. A bastard of royal blood, Marie was booted f...