Lauren Groff wrote a book called The Monsters of Templeton a few years ago, and I’ve been waiting for this follow-up since I finished the final page of Monsters. Arcadia unfolds during the late 1960’s and is a coming-of-age story about a boy who grows up on a commune. It looks like a fun read, and it’s graced with a lovely cover as well. Here’s the description from Goodreads:
In the fields and forests of western New York State in the late 1960s, several dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what becomes a famous commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this lyrical, rollicking, tragic, and exquisite utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after. The novel particularly centers on a young boy – Ridley Sorrel Stone, known as “Little Bit,” and later, “Bit,” who is born soon after the commune is established.
While Arcadia and the Arcadians rise and fall and evolve across three generations, Bit of course, ages too. Played out against the backdrop of Arcadia is Bit’s lifelong love affair with a young woman on the commune – the lithe and deeply troubled Helle. How does he, an extremely sensitive man, make his way through life and through the world outside Arcadia where he must eventually live?
What unfolds is an astonishingly beautiful and gripping novel. With Arcadia, Lauren Groff establishes herself as one of the most gifted young fiction writers at work today.
Arcadia will be released on Tuesday, March 13.