Friday, September 27, 2013

Arcadia by Lauren Groff

ArcadiaArcadia by Lauren Groff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this book at The Babbling Book in Haines, Alaska (great store, if you're ever in the neighborhood) because I had already read and enjoyd Lauren Groff's other book, The Monsters of Templeton.  This book didn't disappoint.

This is the story of Bit, born in the 1970s in a hippie commune in western New York state.  The commune consists of several old buses and lean-tos on a beautiful piece of land, with a hulking mansion in sorry disrepair.  Soon the hippies get to work restoring the mansion so they can have heat and sturdy shelter.  The commune grows beyond its means, and eventually Bit must learn how to adapt to the outside world as he moves to New York City.

The writing is so good, you are in the commune.  You are there, feeling the damp chill on your bare arms, studying your friends' prominent ribs, growing vegetables and eating a vegan diet, running barefoot in the cold, greasy mud, bathing once per week. Wondering at some of the established practices our society endorses and supports. Hoping you never have to leave Arcadia and venture out into the unknown.

There will always be space on my shelf for a Lauren Groff book.

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