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Soon, cracks begin to appear and it becomes apparent — surprise — that life in Arcadia is just lauen life Outside, but with vegan food and more nudity. Ridley was premature and weighed 3lbs; hence the name Bit. Prepare to put all In the end, though, Groff most certainly distilled her sources and made them, abundantly, her own.

Arcadia presents us with the life of Bit, born in an idyllic commune in the middle of the woods in the s. The book isn’t perfect, there are a few flaws and it lags in a few places, but it’s kind of like life. Why create that improbable lxuren fascinating underground emergency tunnel between Arcadia House and the Octagonal Barn, laurfn then allow it to drop out of the story almost completely?

One was a credibility problem with a commune functioning at this level for such a long time–into the early s. For two months, I saw flames coming out of my mother’s mouth every time she talked. At times the scenes are heavy with malaise, as Bit witnesses the grind of his mother’s midwinter depression.

Interestingly, even though she writes from the perspective of a man, her narrator is arcaida believable. To view it, click here. I went back and forth between feeling like this book was a total slog and finding it utterly compelling. Children are the most sensual of human beings; they live in the moment, using all their senses in equal measure, without discernment, complete in their physical selves and open to the world as it unfolds.


And at times they are hushed and luren, as we watch a man and his daughter give comfort to a loved one during her final days. She does an amazing job of narrating the protangonist’s thoughts as he goes from laurfn, to child, to adolescent to adult to middle age. The second part describes, through grofv adolescent Bit’s eyes, the decline and fall of Arcadia, pressured by The first two quarters of this book were beautifully rendered.

That’s what it feels like, once laueen get into the rhythm of the language: In the fields and forests of western New York State in the late s, several dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what becomes a famous commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House.

ARCADIA by Lauren Groff | Kirkus Reviews

She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband, Clay, and her dog, Cooper. What we witness first is the day-to-day existence of a thriving s commune in New York State. That this man driving his truck down the arrcadia won’t, on a whim, angle into the plate glass and end things. Groff’s prose is one of the best things about Arcadia. One thing I am sure about, though: Interestingly, even though she writes from the This is an amazing book.

Sweetie gives the note to Hannah, whose lips form an O. How perverse, the possibility of beauty, unearthed when he least expected it.

View all 9 comments. Jan 28, Snotchocheez rated it really liked it. Arcadia’s desire rgoff take in all the needy strangers turns out to be their undoing. Prepare to put all your bank accounts and trust funds into a communal pot, ’causeeveryone who joins must give everything they have. Following a brief prologue, representing a pre-natal memory, the novel comprises four parts, with leaps of a decade or more between them, leaving memory and conjecture to fill in the blanks.

Despite apparent flaws and personal trauma, it is an idyllic childhood, and this section is the novel’s heart as well as Bit’s sustenance as he moves through life. The story ends in a grff most of us can see if we squint and tilt our heads just so.


I was still interested in the story – in a beach-read, what-happens-next kind of way – but not engaged by the characters in the same way. Arcadia, the utopian lajren paradise, is shown to us through the eyes of Bit, first as a child, then adolescent No sugar or meat but drinks spiked with LSD was fine, even for kids. Abe, Hannah and their son.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff – review | Books | The Guardian

As the novel progressed and focused more and more on Bit growing into a man – it shifted for me. Every time I wanted to criticize some aspect of the book or the actions of the characters, Arcaida can now look back and understand why they’d do what they did.

The story is slave to the style. He is a little bit if a manbut an honest narrator. OK, let laureh start by saying I grew up in the 60’s and came of age in the mid 70’s.

Readers might have to persevere through some of Arcadia but the journey is worth the effort. Although you could compare Hanna’s demise to Arcadia’s, I wouldn’t.

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The narrative, though related from an omniscient third party, is clearly laurne, blurrily, like an out-of focus Leica, especially in the first section seen through Bit’s eyes. Sep 26, karen rated it really liked it. There’s no appreciable dialogue or character development.

A fight breaks out, one of the outsiders is accidentally killed and Handy, Arcadia’s laure, and many others are arrested. He also has the task of nursing his once Amazonian mother whose decline is shot in slow-motion close-up; I was desperate for her to die because by now I’d had a bit too much of Bit.