Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman
finished reading on September 9, 2010
(Please note: I will now have the book description placed after my review)
I own several books by Carol Goodman, but Arcadia Falls is the first one of hers that I have read. Let me first say that Ms. Goodman writes beautifully. Her descriptions are so vivid, I felt like I was there in the book, interacting with the characters. The art school at Arcadia, which started out as a summer artist colony, has a feminist sensibility. The whole theory of its founder, Vera Beecher, is that women cannot be married and have children without giving up their art. Now I think myself to be somewhat of a feminist, but I choose to believe that women can have it all. I do not think that having a family hinders or prevents creativity. Opinions aside, Goodman successfully portrays the thinking of the early 20th century. Women just could not have it all. Interspersed in the workings of the art colony/school is the mystery of the death of one of it's founders and Vera Beecher's companion, Lily Eberhardt. Lily's diary is found and the truth behind what happened in the years leading up to her death is revealed. A death on campus in the present adds further mystery and I was thoroughly drawn into the mysterious story and trying to figure out what exactly was the truth. This is the kind of novel I enjoy...one that keeps me guessing until the end. Although, I did have one hunch right that is revealed at the very end of the book. Arcadia Falls is an interesting and entertaining read. I recommend it and I'm looking forward to reading more of Goodman's work.
Book description from Goodreads:
Meg Rosenthal is driving toward the next chapter in her life. Winding along a wooded roadway, her car moves through a dense forest setting not unlike one in the bedtime stories Meg used to read to her daughter, Sally. But the girl riding beside Meg is a teenager now, and has exchanged the land of make-believe for an iPod and some personal space. Too much space, it seems, as the chasm between them has grown since the sudden, unexpected death of Meg’s husband.
Dire financial straits and a desire for a fresh start take Meg and 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. The creaky, neglected cottage Meg and Sally are to call home feels like an ill portent of things to come, but Meg is determined to make the best of it—and to make a good impression on the school’s dean, the diminutive, elegant Ivy St. Clare.
St. Claire, however, is distracted by a shocking crisis: During Arcadia’s First Night bonfire, one of Meg’s folklore students, Isabel Cheney, plunges to her death in a campus gorge. Sheriff Callum Reade finds Isabel’s death suspicious, but then, he is a man with secrets and a dark past himself.
Meg is unnerved by Reade’s interest in the girl’s death, and as long-buried secrets emerge, she must face down her own demons and the danger threatening to envelop Sally. As the past clings tight to the present, the shadows, as if in a terrifying fairy tale, grow longer and deadlier.
Read for Crazy Book Tours
100 + Reading Challenge
Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge
Women Unbound Challenge (feminist elements throughout the book)
New Authors Challenge
Art History Reading Challenge
Hogwarts Reading Challenge
FTC Disclosure: This book was received in conjunction with a book blog tour and was sent on to the next tour participant. No monetary compensation was received for this review.