Storms, snakes, sinkholes, and secrets: In Lauren Groffs Florida, the hot sun shines, but a wild darkness lurks. The New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies returns, bringing the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wilda place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature. A family retreat can be derailed by a prowling panther, or by a sexual secret. Among those navigating this place are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple, a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring charactera steely and conflicted wife and mother. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Floridaits landscape, climate, history, and state of mindbecomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and furythe moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement....
|Number of Pages||:||279 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Florida » Florida|
Maybe since I’m a Floridian this books makes me defensive, but damn I swear Florida is not as scary and depressing as Groff makes it out to be!
Apparently, there is nothing more to write about in Florida besides miserable mothers, storms, and snakes. At its best, the short stories in Groff's new collection read like rough studies of Carson McCullers. There's Southern Gothic elements: anthropomorphized desperation, fleeting, mysterious characters, and the sense that life is essentially a giant screwball carnival. "Eyewall," "Salvador," and "Dogs Go Wolf" were about the only stories I'd deem successful.
At its worst, Florida is a ...more
I loved some of these stories more than others but I loved them all.
This was my first real experience of Groff. The final story in this collection, Yport, was included in Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists 3 which I read several months ago, but that didn’t help me much because it has been so majorly re-worked by the time it gets into this collection that it is almost a new piece (same basic story, but significantly edited): I was comparing the two for the first few paragraphs, but the changes are so numerous and significant that I gave up and I'm not s ...more
I have spent a long time thinking Lauren Groff and I just weren't a fit. Before this I'd read all three of her novels, and while I liked each better than the last, her distinctive style and prose were never the things that I liked the most. A story collection didn't seem like a good bet for us, since story collections tend to lean into an author's style and give less opportunities for the big plots that I've preferred from her. Ultimately I decided to try it, and I decided to do the audio since ...more
Unfortunately, this book is going to be placed upon my DNF shelf. I absolutely loved Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies a five star read and more for me. However, this collection of short stories is doing nothing for me. The writing is wonderful but the characters and I are not making any connection at all and that makes the book drag for me.
So sorry to say I will stop at the 30% mark. Perhaps someday I will go back to it.
I've enjoyed Lauren Groff's novels and was very much looking forward to this collection of short stories.. Let me begin by saying that Groff has done an excellent job of creating the environment of Florida. She has done it so well, in fact, that I know that I will never want to live there (nor likely visit either). Oppressive heat and humidity by day, surprisingly chilly nights, swamp dwellers, sinkholes, Spanish moss, hurricanes, tangled vines, transplanted Northerners, drug dealers, drifters, ...more
During a recent visit, Lauren Groff shared that when her husband proposed moving back to his native Florida, she, appalled, made him sign a contract that they would leave in 10 years years. That was more than 12 years ago. In the intervening years, she has come to love the state and all its weirdness, and even gave it the top acknowledgement for this, her excellent book of short stories. She knows she is a short story writer, having entered Amherst as an aspiring poet and having the intelligence ...more