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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Meet the indomitable Marie de France.

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

The abbey is a dreadful place: its inhabitants are on the brink of starvation, beset by disease, stoic and stern, yet plagued with an unholy tendency to gossip. Marie cannot help but pine for the decadence and comfort of France, her secret lover Cecily, her queen Eleanor and the very court that had spited her.

Yet Marie soon realises that, though she may be tied to a life of duty, she wields more power than she could have imagined. With the fearlessness that has always set her apart, she inspires her new sisterhood to awaken their spirits and finally claim what is theirs.

A dazzling work of literature, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality and ecstasy in a mesmerising portrait of consuming passion and womanhood.

©2021 Lauren Groff (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Matrix

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Misspeaking the Office Hours

The reader here is an accomplished actor whose work on other audio books I have very much enjoyed. Sadly, here she didn't have proper advice on some of the technical terms that are bound to come up in a book set in a medieval nunnery and thus the performance is full of repeated mispronunciations of key words, e.g. terce (ter-chay rather than terse), none (no-neigh rather than known), prime (pree-may rather than prime), compline (com-pleen rather than complin); oddly, there is one short passage (I think a single sentence) in the second half where all the Office Hours were pronounced properly, which was all odd. The most distracting mispronunciation was lai as 'lie' (rather than lay), which meant I kept misunderstanding the text (Marie sends Eleanor her lies? Ah, yes, no, she sent her Lais, as in the Lais de Marie de France), although luckily there wasn't a very sustained mention of the Lais.

Pengin's audio books do this rather too often, which seems regrettable. One can't blame the actors (one can't know how to pronounce everything), but a press ought to exercise some editorial control/advice over the sonic text as they do over the printed text.

3 people found this helpful

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I love a good nun story!

This is a story about love and a shared life together and female resistance and resilience.
Well written by Lauren Groff and beautifully performed by Adjoa Andoh.

2 people found this helpful

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Short and sweet

A lovely book if not a bit strange? It could have been exceptional, as the plot is different, but somehow it reaches interesting heights not exceptional!
The writing is flowery, but engaging.
You root for the main character Marie for the whole book and can’t help, but admire her.
The narration is excellent…

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What story?

For the life of me I couldn't see the point of this book. The most boring book Have listened to.

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Brilliantly read. Interesting but not gripping.

Great narration. Very inventive narrative, but dragged a bit. Rather too much focus on sex.

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Luminous

This is an incredibly powerful work. Marie is a tremendous creation: fierce, intelligent, political, it is her story across several decades and the life she led running an abbey, lightly interacting with Eleanor of Acquitane.

Great reading too.

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  • Joanne Clough
  • 06-02-22

Epic and sensual. Beautifully read.

like an ancient epic poem in prose form with Marie as the imperfect but conquering hero.Exquisitlely read by Adjoa Andoh the narrative (like most epics) poses questions about the morality of wielding power for one's own ends even though it helps others. rhythmic and sensual. a great listen.