A collection of stories spanning centuries of time in mercurial Florida examines the decisions and connections behind life-changing events in characters ranging from two abandoned sisters to a conflicted family woman. By the award-winning author of Delicate Edible Birds. - (Baker & Taylor)
Storms, snakes, sinkholes, and secrets: In Lauren Groff’s 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 wild—a 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 character—a steely and conflicted wife and mother.
The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes 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 fury—the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement. - (Penguin Putnam)
The flora and fauna of the Sunshine State vine and prowl through Groff's second short story collection and first book since the smash-hit novel Fates and Furies (2015). With sympathy for her characters and a keen sensitivity to the natural world, Groff gets readers wondering who or what will triumph or succumb. Contrary to all good advice, a woman waits out a hurricane in her historic home and is visited by the ghosts of men she's loved. A writer, the mother of two young sons, appears in several stories. In one, she's alone with the boys in a remote cabin when she falls while changing a lightbulb and then battles to remain calm and awake in a concussed delirium. In "Yport," the three spend a summer month in France for the woman's research on Guy de Maupassant, and it will be the boys who teach her something she hadn't realized about the writer she'd long studied. Though 10 of the 11 stories have been previously published, their power as a single unit is undeniable. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Library Journal Reviews
The New York Times best-selling author of three novels, including Fates and Furies, a National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle finalist, Groff also wins prizes (and hearts) for her short stories. She grounds this new collection in the heat and storminess of her adopted state, Florida, while plumbing human heat and storminess as well.
Copyright 2017 Library Journal.
Library Journal Reviews
A frank, rambunctious, generous writer, Groff thought big in her much-heralded novel Fates and Furies. Here, in spot-on language, she effectively provides slice-of-life reading, capturing the scents and sounds of her newly adopted state, Florida. Her portraits aren't of sand, surf, and sunshine; instead, she shows us houses that "rot and droop" in the humidity, the "devilish reek of snakes" at swamp's edge, and an "old hunting camp shipwrecked in twenty miles of scrub" where a panther lurks. But these portraits aren't unaffectionate, and the characters can be satisfyingly tough, though Groff's alter ego in several stories is still getting her bearings. In the opening story, she walks nightly in her transitional neighborhood, seeing few people but keeping herself from becoming a yowling mom. The standout "At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners" traces a Florida boy's life from his rough upbringing, his mother's stealing him away to safety, his father's grabbing him back, and his adulthood in the family home, when he confronts the ghost of his let-down father, then joyously greets his wife. VERDICT Well-observed, unexpected writing for fans and more. [See Prepub Alert, 12/11/17.]
Copyright 2018 Library Journal.