When my book club selected “Arcadia,” by Lauren Groff as the book of the month I read the back cover and said, “Please, not again.”
The blurb described a story centered on a group of people living in a commune. Nothing wrong with that, but I remember trying such stories before and not successfully. And I don’t want another unfinished book. I want to love the book and read it from cover to cover.
So, I did everything possible to avoid turning on my Kindle, even considered skipping the next book club meeting or reading the cliff notes.
I don’t know Ms. Groff; never read anything of hers before. But since friends took time to recommend the book and schedule it for discussion, I finally decided to give the first chapter a try.
And guess what? I’m glad I did. There is merit to the story, but the real beauty is in the writing. Words are strung together artistically and magically in such a way they fuel the imagination beyond description. The prose almost vanquishes the events by superior force, and there are many events as the story covers a time period.
Of course I’m barely halfway through, so there’s time for disappointment. And judging by the reviews on Amazon, there are disappointed readers out there.
But so far this book-club selection is a wonderful surprise … and to think that I almost didn’t give it a fair try.
~~~~ Have you ever been pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised by a book or movie?