A Signed First Edition Club Recommendation
"In Lauren Groff's Florida, nature encroaches in spaces—both external and internal—that people have abandoned. Snakes infest houses with emotionally compromised infrastructures; the woods near cabins and camps are thick with undergrowth, haunted by the threat of panthers, lapdogs gone wild, and escaped Hollywood movie monkeys; climate change and malign human growth loom darkly behind it all. Inside, things are no safer. Groff is fascinated by precarity, momentary slips that usher in all the feral emotions we try to de-fang and defend ourselves from. In this lush, tangly collection, she writes about middle-class women choked with anxiety, teachers who slide into homelessness after a series of bad breaks, children left to fend for themselves in a multiplicity of ways. Through a spectrum of experiences, she examines the ways in which they are all hacking through wildernesses of their own, and searches for the light in the heavy clouds above."
The bold new book from the celebrated New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies
In her vigorous and moving new book, Lauren Groff brings her electric storytelling and intelligence to a world in which storms, snakes, and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional, and psychological nature. Among those navigating it all 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.