Front Cover
Random House, Apr 5, 2012 - Fiction - 304 pages
64 Reviews
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?

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Groff's prose is lovely and rich in imagery. - LibraryThing
The prose rings like a bell and howls like a dog. - LibraryThing
The storytelling is excellent. - LibraryThing
Good writing, interesting characters. - LibraryThing
The language is eloquent, the verbal visuals stunning. - LibraryThing
There is some wonderful prose here. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - froxgirl - LibraryThing

Okay, anyone considering writing a book on the hippie communes of the 1960s - 1970s: put down your pen and start pondering a different novel. This is the be-all, end-all, final word on all that. The ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AThurman - LibraryThing

I'd have enjoyed this one more if its perspective reached out beyond that of its protagonist, Bit. The first half detailing the commune could have been great with a broader perspective. Bit's nostalgia-shrouded later life, taking up the latter half of the book, had less interest for me. Read full review

All 3 reviews »

About the author (2012)

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.

Bibliographic information