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Arcadia by Lauren Groff – review

And then the last section of the book was my favourite and very beautiful, and it’s left me feeling quite different – not at all the relief I’d thought I’d feel to be done. And the think the author had lots of interesting things to say about community, and she was both arcadua and also critical of all different ways of living – even the characters disagreed with one another.

Jan 21, Angela rated it it was ok Shelves: I really enjoyed this book. Soon, cracks begin to appear and it becomes apparent — surprise — that life in Arcadia is just like life Outside, but with vegan food and more nudity. Handy creates Arcadia in his own image, yet follows none of his own rules, becoming the serpent that brings Eden to the point of collapse.

So, the first section, experiencing that world through Bit, was emotionally provocative, well-written, sad, but deeply insightful into the emotional life of that sensitive boy. Groff’s hippie commune story, set somewhere in upstate New York was a difficult slog I didn’t give this 5 stars because of the ending.

Bit is an idealistic, creative, sensitive, and intelligent person, who finds his life turned upside down by the complexity of many of his relationships. After a time jump we find a middle-aged, timid Bit now the father of a “beautiful daughter” whose shoulder he “nuzzles”, inhaling “popcorn and warm milk to banish the thought” of his grief; for Bit he is still small, take pity on him is a widower.


Groff uses arcadix floaty, present tense, semi-random flow that very nearly resembles a plot, but not quite. It was cold, Helle said. She uses some beautiful turns of phrase, her imagery is particularly credible and she has the gift of drawing you deep inside her character’s lives. It seems to me that residents of a commune choose the most child-like way of life, striving to accept the world on its terms, trusting in the willingness of their fellow residents to work and play together in harmony.

Then, finally, after the first section was over I figured out what Ms. He can crack a paragraph and eat it. In the end, though, Groff most certainly distilled her sources and made them, abundantly, acadia own.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff – review | Books | The Guardian

Arcadia is a commune that develops in the early s in upstate New York, built around a dilapidated mansion called Arcadia House. Overall, read the first half or two-thirds of the book for its beauty and original setting. Thomas Cole’s interpretation of The Arcadian or Pastoral State The story opens with Bit at age 3 when Hannah is suffering from a type of seasonal depression and her recent miscarriage.

I was constantly torn between wanting to gulp down this book or savor its lines. The universe pulses outward at impossible speeds. Some books grab you from the get-go, while some take a little time before they hook you completely.

Bit is at times a bit of a wimp. Groff had me baking bread and feeling tired and hungry at Ersatz Arcadia, smoking weed and dancing on Cockaigne Day, missing and searching for Helle, arcadja to Arcadia to care for Hannah as ALS ravages her body and finally feeling as if my life has come full circle.


I enjoyed the second half much more than the first half.

I am shouting from the rooftops: Arcadia takes us arcadis an enactment of utopia to the dawning of a dystopian nightmare in the span of its pages. Unfortunately, the population continued to grow and aradia and the resources dwindled. And just when you think the really interesting part is going to start, as he leaves to live in the city after living in this commune his whole life, the book skips forward 20 years.

Lots of vocabulary that was new to me, loved that too. This is my second Lauren Arcaddia book. Although you could compare Hanna’s demise to Arcadia’s, I wouldn’t.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff

But that is the time and place of only the first section, and I ended up enthralled with it anyway; plus, the novel is, of course, about much more. Handy let me drink the acid Slap-Apple when i was like five.

For anyone still naive enough to feel nostalgic about free-love merrymakers, T. Live with the land, not on it. Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction And then, Chantry Flat My first memories of Arcadia were of my father taking me several times to Santa Anita arcdaia, an absolutely breathtaking horse racing venue, perfectly preserved and horticulturally precise You will wake from the dream of Arcadia, as Bit does, determined to do whatever you can to stay more fully present in your life and aware of the magic of everyday things.