I don’t need to waste a lot of time spouting Arcadia‘s praises. For that, read this glowing piece in the New York Times or this starred review in Publisher’s Weekly or Ron Charles’ review in the Washington Post. The book world clearly loves this novel. And I do, too.
Told in three parts, this is the story of one man. Nicknamed Bit, he is raised in a hippie commune in upstate New York (the titular Arcadia). Lauren Groff’s tale is rich, detailed, atmospheric, and engrossing. Her landscapes spring brilliantly to life, and Bit’s story avoids the “flower child” cliches that it so easily could have embraced.
This is one of those reads that will take over your brain. The beauty, scope, pain, and confusion of Arcadia are vividly rendered, and it will take some time to tear yourself away. Believe me, you won’t want to.
Arcadia is the perfect intelligent, emotionally relevant pick for the savvy summer reader. It’ll make a great book club pick for the fall, too.