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Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman
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Arcadia Falls

by Carol Goodman

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53612518,778 (3.58)43
Recently added bySherrieB, chellebuck79, mediapuzzle, Tazoh, kwbridge, private library, bjh3038
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  1. 70
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Latrg, Ozma333)
    Ozma333: Same style of story-telling where there is a mystery from the past that reflects or explains current situations. Also, similar writing styles - descriptive and rich. Both entertaining and both referencing dark fairytales.
  2. 00
    Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris (elbakerone)
    elbakerone: Another mystery story set in a boarding school. Both are well written with interesting layers to the plots.
  3. 00
    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (msouliere)
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Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
This one seems to do what Twisted Thread was attempting to do, but Goodman executes it better. Quick and fun read. ( )
  Caitdub | Oct 24, 2013 |
I generally enjoyed this book. It was a little magical, a little eerie, with a little mystery and a twist I didn't expect.

The story of the changeling that is told during the first part of the book is charming and that it was woven into the atmosphere and landscape of the setting really set the scene well for the rest of the story.

I most enjoyed the entries from Lily's journal. I actually would have preferred that this book be about Lily and Vera and the school rather than about the present day characters. I was disappointed every time those sections ended and we returned to the present. I understand why the author chose to write the book this way but, for me, it really hindered the flow of the book. I understand the use of the parallel storylines but in some places things were very choppy.

I didn't completely like main character or her daughter Sally. I don't think Sally was ever really fleshed out. She was the stereotypical troubled teenager who wants her distance from her parent. I never really felt like I connected with either of them. I liked Lily much more.

The end of the book ties up all the loose ends and has a couple of surprising twists that will satisfy many readers but they seemed a little bit far-fetched to me. Also, the idea that 3 people die on a school campus and there's not more of a police presence than the one lone sheriff and not more of a public outcry and investigation seems a little ridiculous.

Overall, this was enjoyable and I would definitely check out more by this author. The scene description and metaphor within the fairy tale alone were fantastic. The atmosphere was very well done and that alone makes this worth the read in my opinion. ( )
  CherieReads | Sep 23, 2013 |
I had no idea what kind of book I was getting into. I was a bit turned off by the fairy tale and pagan themes at first, but it all worked out to be a very interesting story. ( )
  MochiMama | Aug 21, 2013 |
Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman was recommended to me by the blog, A Life in Books. The review compares it to the Gothic romance novels of Barbara Michaels and I was intrigued.

Meg Rosenthal, recently widowed, and her teenage daughter move to Arcadia Falls, where she will be teaching at a boarding school that was once an artists' commune. She is also there to finalize the research on her thesis as the school will be a source of primary sources.

Shortly after arriving one of the students falls to her death during a night time event. Her death brings to light unusual similarities with the death of one of the school's founders, Lily. Fortunately for us, Meg has found the Lily's long lost diary and can compare the recorded history with Lily's version of events leading to her death.

To further complicate things, Goodman tosses in long passages of a fairy tale written at the school. It's supposed to set the Gothic mood of the novel and give clues to mysteries at hand but it didn't work for me. It read like a whole pile of filler instead of being a meaningful contribution to the novel.

Lily's story ended up being the most realistic and compelling piece of the novel. Meg is too scatter brained and passive to count as a convincing lead character. Even when she's worried about her daughter's safety, she can't manage to act decisively. She's tossed up again a pair of villains with ties to the older mystery who are constructed out of nothing but cliches that the ending is laughable. What Arcadia Falls needed was a twist ending so that everything was actually in Meg's mind. ( )
  pussreboots | Jul 29, 2013 |
I got this book from my friend Jen, who won it from Goodreads. I really liked the book. I loved reading the parts about Lilly's life. The fairy tale was prominent throughout the whole book. ( )
  JenniferLynn | May 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
The tone of "Arcadia Falls," suffused as it is with foreboding, is a far cry from gloomy. Goodman's touch is sure-handed, even light, dropping hints and shockers with calibrated ease.
 
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"We're lost," my daughter tells me for the third time in an hour.
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It seems to me right not that it's the curse of all mothers and daughters. We sacrifice to give them what we didn't have, but all we've done is to show them that's all a woman can do: sacrifice herself or sacrifice her child. It all leads to the same thing.
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Book description
For two hundred years, painters, poets and musicians have come to the Catskill Mountain village of Arcadia Falls to escape the pressures of modern life and pursue their artistic visions, and Arcadia College was founded with a mission to nurture young artists and writers. When Meg Rosenthal gets an offer to teach at Arcadia College, it seems a godsend - an escape from a life that's fallen apart. She hopes, too, that Arcadia Falls will be a place where she and her daughter Sally can find some peace and reconciliation. But even though Arcadia Falls proves to be even more beautiful then Meg imagined, it is hardly peaceful. Soon she begins to realize that the public story behind the school conceals deceit, betrayal, and perhaps even murder. As Meg struggles to reconcile the choices she's made in her own life, she begins to fear that by coming to Arcadia Falls she's put herself and her daughter in danger.
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Dire financial straits and a desire for a fresh start take Meg and her teenaged daughter Sally from a comfortable life on Long Island to a tucked-away hamlet in upstate New York: Arcadia Falls, where Meg has accepted a teaching position at a boarding school. Med is determined to make the best of it and to make a good impression on the school's dean, Ivy St. Clare. But everyone at the school is distracted by the sudden death of one of Meg's students during Arcadia's First Night bonfire.--From publisher's description.… (more)

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