In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land. Abe and Hannah’s only child, Bit, is born into the commune soon after its creation. He grows up there, becoming deeply attached to Arcadia's way of life and everyone within it, in particular the beautiful but troubled Helle. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. He needs to find a way to live in the world beyond Arcadia, but can he let go of the past to forge a new start?
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Powerful and affecting…Captures a five-year-old’s consciousness with rare, almost mystical intensity, this is a vivid, original and generous-hearted book. - Daily Mail
An exquisite tale of idealism and disintegration…Utterly absorbing. - Marie Claire
Richly peopled and ambitious and oh, so lovely, Lauren Groff's Arcadia is one of the most moving and satisfying novels I've read in a long time. It's not possible to write any better without showing off. -
The raw beauty of Ms. Groff’s prose is one of the best things about Arcadia ... stunningly sensual and visceral in describing behaviour straight out of a time capsule…extraordinarily rich imagination, she writes about this life as if she has known it. - New York Times
Groff is a sensuous writer. - Guardian
Intricately wrought ... A powerful paean to the human desire to make the right sort of place to live. - Sunday Telegraph
Smart, beautiful, rooted in an earthy and glorious location ... Groff’s beautifully written Arcadia paints a lyrical picture ... You fall in love with Arcadia’s protagonist, Bit, and find yourself transported to a different time, place and lifestyle. - Stylist 5 stars
Arcadia, her second novel, cements all of Groff’s promise, and then some…Deft-structural and convincing authorial control…Wonderful stuff. - Mirror, Book of the Week
With Arcadia, Groff has woven her own tale, in eloquent prose that’s rich in sense of place and depth of feeling - Independent on Sunday
One of our most talented writers, and Arcadia one of the most revelatory, magical and ambitious novels I've read in years. -
The novel’s greatest strength is its vision of the violent fecundity of nature…Groff excels in writing with a kind of fairy-tale lucidity…The book’s structure and imagery are full of delightful intricacies and cruel ironies. - Times Literary Supplement
Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, New York. She has a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has won fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo. Her debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers 2008. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.