Two thumbs up for Matrix by Lauren Groff. Historical fiction.
A fictionalized biography of Marie de France—king’s bastard daughter, abbess, mystic, writer. (She may have been two different Maries in actuality, a fact which I think would amuse the character.) Marie is a badass. A physical giant among women, with an ambition to match. She loves, she fights, she builds, she prays, she outwits her enemies, she plots and plans and often succeeds. What a pleasure it is to spend 250 pages with her; I wish it had been more. Highly recommended if you like poetic, flowing writing and cool women.
Eleanor will be a model, then, Marie thinks, for her own purpose on the earth, at this abbey she hates so much. She will build around herself walls of wealth and friends and good clear reputation, she will make her frail sisters safe within. Marie will mold herself in the queen’s form, she thinks. The abbess snores, the horse farts, the day draws on, and Marie’s mind leaps and runs, making her plans.
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