Publication Date: 01/07/2022 ISBN: 9781529157864 Category:


Lauren Groff

Publisher: Cornerstone
Publication Date: 01/07/2022 ISBN: 9781529157864 Category:
Paperback / Softback


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.




‘Gorgeous, sensual, addictive’ SARA COLLINS
‘Brightly lit’ NAOMI ALDERMAN

Born from a long line of female warriors and crusaders, yet too coarse for courtly life, Marie de France is cast from the royal court and sent to Angleterre to take up her new duty as the prioress of an impoverished abbey.

Lauren Groff’s modern masterpiece is about the establishment of a female utopia.

‘A propulsive, captivating read’ BRIT BENNETT
‘Fascinating, beguiling, vivid’ MARIAN KEYES
‘A dazzlingly clever tale’ THE TIMES
‘A thrillingly vivid, adventurous story about women and power that will blow readers’ minds. Left me gasping’ EMMA DONOGHUE

Publisher Review

Visionary leader, queer lover, 12th-century writer ... the life of Marie de France is triumphantly reimagined in an assertively modern novel about female ambition and creativity... a highly distinctive novel of great vigour and boldness. From mystical visions that may or may not be divine, to the earthy business of abbey pigs, diseases and account books, Groff does it all with purpose and panache * Guardian * Groff's writing is muscular and precise, her themes wildly resonant. Women are dismissed and contained, subject to misogynist attacks and abuse, but gain power collectively - "alone, together". Shockingly, this message is as poignant today as it was, perhaps, 800 years ago * Sunday Times * A dazzlingly clever tale . . . gorgeously precise prose, always elegantly weighted and perfectly economical * The Times * Pitch-perfect * Telegraph * This is a remarkable novel: unusual, profound, transcendental * Evening Standard * It's a breathtaking novel * Financial Times * A thrillingly vivid, adventurous story about women and power that will blow readers' minds. Left me gasping. -- Emma Donoghue Fascinating, beguiling, vivid -- Marian Keyes on Twitter Luminous, divine, her masterpiece -- Daisy Johnson An audacious piece of storytelling, full of passion, wisdom and magic -- Sarah Waters How mesmerising can twelfth century nuns be, even in the hands of Lauren Groff? I had barely started it before I was bloody well blaspheming with delight. Matrix is a gorgeous, sensual, addictive read. -- Sara Collins Transcendent prose and vividly described settings bring to life historic events, from the Crusades to the papal interdict of 1208. Groff has outdone herself with an accomplishment as radiant as Marie's visions. * Publishers Weekly * From the moment you're introduced to Marie, a queer, fierce warrior woman riding across the countryside on her warhorse, you feel as though you've time-travelled back to the Middle Ages. Groff's prose is arresting and unforgettably visceral . . . It's impossible not to feel galvanised by Marie's resilience, independence and determination to make her mark in a world ruled by men. I'll be thinking about Matrix for a long time to come * Stylist, Novel of the autumn * Enchanting and intriguing, Matrix absorbs the reader into the medieval period without compelling them to depart entirely from the present * iNews * It's a bold, luminous tale that captivates from first to last. * Mail on Sunday * A robust and pleasingly strange slice of historical fiction * Times, Best Fiction Books of 2021 * Lauren Groff's Matrix is just marvellous; vivid and vibrant, it hums with the lives of those contained within the convent walls, as Marie becomes the ambitious and canny hub at the heart of this female utopia. * Daily Mail * No doubt a mini-series beckons * Catholic Herald * Groff offers a world that is rapturous, rapacious, ecstatic, profane; a novel of seismic revelations. -- Eley Williams Matrix explores the story of Marie de France, a young woman sent to languish in a struggling convent that she begins to transform through her own leadership. Both epic and intimate, this sweeping novel explores questions of female ambition, creativity and passion with electrifying prose and sparkling wit. A propulsive, captivating read. -- Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half Matrix is alive with lust and glory. In the incandescent Marie de France - visionary, cantankerous and uncowed by the constraints of her sex - Groff paints a portrait of sisterhood that shines out of the past and into the lives of women today. -- C Pam Zhang, author of Booker-longlisted How Much of These Hills is Gold Animated with sensual detail on every page and filled with lush, gripping storytelling that cuts to the bone, MATRIX resonates right into the present moment. I never thought I would find myself longing to be a medieval nun but Groff is a worker of wonders. This book is a ferocious joy -- Madeline Miller Lushly textured and uniquely vivid, Matrix settles itself on your mind like a dream or vision - it's absolutely stunning -- Sophie Mackintosh What a book. Perfectly done. I adored it -- Max Porter It's as brightly lit as an illuminated manuscript and would make the most perfect Christmas present imaginable -- Naomi Alderman Full of sharp sensory detail, it's balm and nourishment for brain, heart and soul * Guardian * Matrix takes the mysterious life of the late 12th-century poet - known today for her romantic lais - and runs with it . . . Groff explores themes of domination, death and desire in compelling (if at times, stomach-turning) detail * Financial Times, Best Books of the Year * However, like Groff's earlier novel, this becomes a vivid, immersive and at times wild account of female agency * Sunday Times * In Lauren Groff's hands, the tale of a medieval nunnery is must-read fiction * Washington Post * A marvelously told story of devotion, desire and ambition in the heart of a female utopia * Daily Mail * Matrix is another masterpiece from a writer whom few at this point can best * The Atlantic * Through Marie, Groff explores how a society's religious and gendered constraints can be turned on their head to create a utopia * The New Yorker * [A]n electric reimagining . . . feminist, sensual, magisterial, de France's saga is one of hardship and triumph, an unforgettable character whose far-seeing vision and devotion to the nuns in her community enable them to transcend what threatens to erase and silence them * Oprah Magazine * Matrix focuses less on Marie the author and more on Marie the abbess - and if you think that doesn't sound like the obvious angle for a fun and engaging story, you underestimate the scope of Groff 's imagination and talent * The Daily Telegraph * In these incandescent pages, Groff reverently imagines her way into the life and lore of Marie de France . . . Woven from Groff's trademark ecstatic sentences and brimming with spiritual fervor, Matrix is a radiant work of imagination and accomplishment * Esquire * Thrilling and heartbreaking, Groff crafts an electric work of historical fiction * TIME, Most Anticipated Book of the Fall * A transportive and meditative tale that will swallow you up from the very start * Newsweek * Groff, a premier stylist . . . .continues to grow, taking on a medieval foremother's story in her latest novel. The voice she finds for Marie de France . . . .will hold readers fast as the exiled Angevin royal becomes abbess of a convent, leading her charges through historic upheavals * LA Times * Feverishly exhilarating stuff * Chicago Tribune * With her unparalleled gift for sumptuous, sublime prose, Groff paints an engrossing portrait of a woman who, despite living in a world bound by constraints, experiences a life rich with passion and creativity. Surrounded by a supportive sisterhood, Marie uses strength and ingenuity to subvert the oppression of the patriarchy * Atlanta Journal Constitution * Utterly absorbing * Vogue * Splendid with rich description and period vocabulary, this courageous and spin-tingling novel shows an incredible range for Groff (FLORIDA, 2018), and will envelop readers fully in Marie's world, interior and exterior, all senses lit up. It is both a complete departure and an easy-to-envision tale of faith, power, and temptation. * Booklist * In this bildungsroman about the real-life 12th-century poet Marie de France, a teenage Marie is exiled to a blighted Benedictine nunnery, where she finds strength and power as a prioress * Vanity Fair * Powerful, sapphic historical novel . . . Richly realized with historical details that don't overwhelm * BuzzFeed * Readers will recognize her stunning prose and grand, mythic perspective. . . . in a tale that feels both ancient and urgent, as holy as it is deeply human * Entertainment Weekly * The pages are almost completely devoid of men - seen, but not heard - with Groff using poetic, melodic and yet fierce writing to breathe volume into themes of power, ambition and success from the perspective of women * Press Association * [A] propulsive, enchanting, and emotionally charged read * Washington Independent Review of Books * A clever spin on the story of Marie de France * Bustle * I loved this accomplished piece of storytelling. So much so, I added it to my Booker wish list at the last minute, a wish not fulfilled, of course * A Life In Books * Matrix is a rich, beautifully written novel about ambition and desire, and also witchy separatist medieval nuns * Vox *

Find this book on the following lists

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible