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My earliest years were spent in a tight-knit community on the conventional fringes of hippiedom, and Bit’s sense of connection to and belief in his community — the way a place that is a little screwed up for adults can still be magically warm and safe for a child –rang very true to me. If they intrigue you, join the crowds of ecstatic reviewers.

Jul 15, Katie rated it it was amazing Shelves: Groff offers us Bit’s perspective in third-person present tense, which allows us to experience Arcadia in real time, to be as present as the characters, to exist within a child’s mind yet to remain detached observers. The residents of Arcadia play at leaderless democracy, but into the void between communal decision making and anarchy, steps the charismatic father-figure Handy and his Scandinavian goddess-wife Astrid.

As was the case with Fates and Furiesthe prose is a constant delight.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff – review

Everyone will live together in love and kindness. I didn’t think that was possible: As this story demonstrates, however, that never seems to be the way things work out. Andrew Carnegie Medal Yroff for Fiction What Bit hated most in all the Outside world, hated with an irrational, puking hatred, was the goldfish in the pet store a street away, its endless dull slide around the glass. I felt it was a little drawn out, and no closure. But he finally gets a decent girlfriend in the end, and the pandemic doesn’t kill everybody, so They sit here in the darkness, trusting.


His observations are child like and honest.

One thing I am sure about, though: The book follows Bit, his family, and other Arcadia residents as the community finally succeeds after years of struggling, looks at the after-effects of its success, then follows Bit’s life after nearly arcadua has left Arcadia, and what living on the “Outside” has done.

When the population of Arcadia swelled to hundreds, this social experiment fell apart and the members scattered. Why create that improbable and fascinating underground emergency tunnel between Arcadia House and the Octagonal Barn, and then allow it to drop out of the story almost completely?

I don’t give 5 stars very often.

Jul 24, Anne rated it really liked it Shelves: You will treat all living creatures with respect. The first two quarters of this book were beautifully rendered. His name is Ridley Sorrel Stone but is called ‘Bit’ This novel by Lauren Groff takes place in western New York in the late ‘s.

This isn’t a new novel—it was first published by Hyperion in —and the fact of the matter is that I tried reading it four separate times before I finally was able to become absorbed by this book. But growing numbers, free love and drugs, and disillusionment in their leader Handy, ultim Arcadia, the utopian hippie paradise, is shown to us through the eyes of Bit, first as a child, then adolescent Arcadia takes us from an enactment of utopia to the dawning of a dystopian nightmare in the span of its pages.

Through the grace of Groff’s rich prose, the reader moves in bittersweet concert with Bit and with the dream that is Arcadia. Thanks for telling us about the problem. I had to wake up every single night to someone fucking someone in the Pink Piper. The world is in quarantine, retreating from a deadly flu flung out from Southeast Asia. The first couple of sections deal with a boy growing up in a commune, which is fairly interesting, but certainly not a topic that hasn’t been dealt I don’t know about this, you guys.

May 27, George Clack rated it it was ok. The emotions Groff provokes are complicated and cleansing.


Ambrosia for books clubs; consider multiples.

The herbal optimism of these young men and women arrives already cast in the shadow of failure. 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. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [Anybody else feel frustrated that we didn’t get any closure on Grete’s mom?

This isn’t a new novel—it was first published by Hyperion in —and the fact of the matter is that I tried reading it four separate times before I finally was able grofg become absorbed b We read books to be entertained, to be informed, to have a laugh, to escape the day-to-day.

There were enough seeds of human error sown as there are in any such utopian endeavor early on froff I found it hard arcaddia believe that the arcxdia people would have held together for such a long time before the bottom dropped out.

Constructed in the ss, they’re mostly privately owned, have almost no amenities certainly no electricity but appear to be resided in year-round.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff

I didn’t love this book, though I liked parts of it enough to give it a fairly weak fourth star. How do I explain my huge disappointment in this book? Here you’ll get to ride out a New York winter in a grofv, quonset hut or bread truck, while waiting for your Utopian palace to be restored.

Arcadia is a commune that develops in the early s in upstate New Arcadiz, built around a dilapidated mansion called Arcadia House.

He labors over it with a red pencil.