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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. I didn’t dislike the adult Bit, a photography professor and single Dad struggling with loneliness in the Big City NYCbut the themes are a bit trite “single Dad struggling with loneliness in the Big City” and there’s no more magic, literally or stylistically. I didn’t give this 5 stars because of the ending. Aside from the affected, artsy practice of eschewing the use of quotation marks apologies to my Goodreads friends who are tired of reading my plaints about quotation mark usage, but it bugs me no end she provides this gauzy, dizzying narrative that’s just a bombardment of random imagery, dozens of characters thrown at the reader like sopping wet wadded up paper towels directed at the ceiling of a elementary school bathroom, just hoping something might stick.

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. That story has been told before, but a quick glance persuades me that Groff has made it wholly hers.

I am a bit too young to have been one, but I remember meeting them in the late 70’s while I lived in the Catskills gdoff is a few hours from Arcadia, the setting of the commune and setting of much of the novel. Welcome to Arcadia, the finest in communal living!

When he hands it to Sweetie, she goes speechless. So in the end I’m feeling glad to have read it and surprisingly a bit sad to be finished, though at the same time I hope I’ll enjoy my next book a bit more. When the population of Arcadia swelled to hundreds, this social experiment fell apart and the members scattered.


Apr 10, Olga Kowalska Grotf rated it really liked it.

What does it mean for a girl to have a “sweet cupcake face” anyway? But that is the time and place of only the first section, and I ended up enthralled with afcadia anyway; plus, the novel is, of course, about much more.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff – review

View all 67 comments. This is my second Lauren Groff book. People living a few miles away from grocery stores and malls, choosing to eat a subsistence diet, with little or no plumbing and not enough heat and no AC. Funny the Hippies led by Handy are supposed to be free, but they are given a million rules too, just different ones.

As this story demonstrates, however, that never gfoff to be the way things work out. Try these four passages below; they nicely encapsulate Bit’s musing mind. Everything that is experienced in this story and by the group is seen through Bit’s eyes. This book is an interesting, thought-provoking meditation on the many ways “free” living can shape people’s futures. Constructed in the ss, they’re mostly privately owned, have almost no amenities certainly no electricity but appear to be resided in year-round.

What a beautiful book, I loved it. I’m not sure if my impatience with that structure is the book’s failing or my own. But it did pick up. Even the most incidental details vibrate with life.

Mar 20, Julie Christine rated it it was amazing Shelves: Resented it, too, because I was so looking forward to it. I sank into Arcadia and lived in it without coming up for air, and came away moved by its beauty and imagination, and beset with thoughts about days long gone, and how we move forward on our brief journeys by loving one another. Arcadia – Final Discussion Spoilers September She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband, Clay, and her dog, Cooper.

One more criticism – beyond the main characters, there are so many others, especially amo So, the first section, experiencing that world through Bit, was emotionally provocative, well-written, sad, but deeply insightful into the emotional life of that aradia boy.


Our narrator is Ridley Stoner — Bit or Little Bit as he is known, who is born to Hannah and Abe in their car as they are travelling with racadia group of idealists to Arcadia House. She writes in lush and languid tones, as Bit rotates through years harmonious and troubled.

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.

This story follows Bit and his parents and the other members of the community through several decades. The requited maternal ecstasy the author feels for Bit, combined with turgid storytelling results in a novel that could be a one-page love poem, and in that sense feels pages too long. Bit and his parents ended up in new York City Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. There was the freedom and beauty in the commune and the manual labor which sometimes bore not enough fruit or warmth.

Your writing is actually quite beautiful, but that isn’t good enough for you, apparently. See all 3 questions about Arcadia…. Marriage is defunct and new couples are formed although Hannah and Abe choose to stay together. The whole thing has a sort of dreamlike quality, which I suppose will appeal to some readers.

Lauren Groff | Arcadia

The early part of the novel is told from a very young child’s perspective, though not precisely in a child’s voice. My rating for this fine novel is a solid 4. Arcadia follows this lyrical, rollicking, tragic, and exquisite utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and beyond.