Jennifer's Reviews > Arcadia

Arcadia by Lauren Groff
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's review
Jul 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, historical-fiction, 2012
Read from June 21 to July 01, 2012

Let me preface my review by saying that I literally cannot turn down a book that is set in Western New York. When I started this one, the Western New York setting was one of the only things I knew about it. After reading it, I'm glad that my frank obsession with WNY lit brought it to my attention.

Groff's writing is excellent. She captivated me with her characters and built dynamic and believable relationships between them. There were so many sentences that I found myself re-reading because of the beautiful way that Groff strung her words together.

The format of this story was also quite interesting. The reader follows Bit through four segments of his life: as a toddler, adolescent, mid-lifer, and as an older adult. So there were four main sections of the book, but those sections contained choppy narratives, usually no longer than a page long. Somehow the choppy writing style read smoothly and, in my opinion, actually added to my enjoyment.

Two of the life segments are about Bit's life in Arcadia, a hippie commune in Western New York and the other two are about his continuing transition into life outside Arcadia. We watch as Bit grows within and in spite of himself, but we also witness all the parts of him that remain the same. What I especially enjoy about this novel is that although the protagonist is a male, the story is more about the women who shape him. I loved all the character development in this, but especially of Hannah and Astrid; two women who were described as remarkable as the former WTC Twin Towers at one point in the novel.

**Please note I received a copy of this from Goodreads First Reads**
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06/23/2012 page 27
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