Author: Lauren Groff
Rating: 4 / 5
Why I picked it up: I read Groff’s Fates and Furies and liked it a lot; then read her short story collection Delicate Edible Birds and liked that one a lot as well. I’d been meaning to get around to this one eventually and when I had an opportunity to pick it up for free after a library sale, I snatched it up 🙂
What it’s about: A hippie commune. A coming of age. Family. It follows the story of one character, Bit, from birth to middle age.
What I liked: It reminded me a lot of Fates and Furies, in themes, characters, tone, and mood, and as I’ve stated I liked that book a lot. I think it dealt with its topics in an evenhanded way, in that the questions raised (individuality vs community, nature vs nurture, etc) can be argued either way based on the text. I was planning to pass this one on when I was done because I’m trying to reduce my bookshelf in anticipation of moving eventually, but I think I’ll be holding on to it because it seems like one I’ll want to revisit eventually.
What I didn’t like: There wasn’t a whole lot I didn’t like. I will say that it kind of reminds me of a Coldplay song in that it can seem both happy and super depressing at the same time, and that it’s technically good but slightly pretentious.
Overall / recommended: I enjoyed reading this one although, like a Coldplay song, it can put you in a weird funk. But, of course, that’s a testament to the emotional power of Groff’s writing. It touches on so many topics and, although sometimes I wish it had gone deeper into some of them, it does what it does in a very satisfying way.