Staff Review: Arcadia by Lauren Groff

Arcadia  is a lyrical novel about a boy raised in a commune, and how he finds his own way in the world. The first half is told from the little boy’s point of view, and the author does this well, illuminating aspects that adults might not see. The commune’s founders and denizens are not stereotypes, nor is the aftermath of the inevitable expulsion from Eden (or Arcadia). Much of the novel is grounded in real physical activities (gardening, baking bread) and places (New York City, upstate New York), and that contrasts in an unsettling way with the child’s fantasy world as well as the mental and emotional world of the adults. Complex, moving, and unusual: the last chapter actually moves into the future. Recommended to readers of contemporary fiction, with strong emphasis on character and place.

This entry was posted in books, coming of age, contemporary fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Staff Review: Arcadia by Lauren Groff

  1. I haven’t read this title yet, but it sounds similar to a memoir I read last summer, This Life in Your Hands by Melissa Coleman .

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