Arcadia is the story of little Bit, who grows up at an upstate New York commune nestled on acres of farmland and centered around Arcadia House, a once-abandoned mansion home to generations of idealists. The son of a baker and a carpenter, Bit observes the highs and lows of communal living — the wonder of watching midwives deliver babies, the harshness of a winter with too many mouths and too little food, and the dawning knowledge that not everything is perfect in utopia.
"For a hello, Hannah rests her cheek in the crook of Abe's neck for a moment and kisses Bit gently on the forehead. Like a sigh into breath, life releases into life. Hannah turns to stoke the woodstove. Abe fixes the drafty chink where he had built the lean-to against the Bread Truck. They eat dinner and Abe plays a tune on the harmonica and when night falls all three curl on the pallet together, and Bit sleeps, a hickory nut within the shell of his parents."
Lauren Groff is the author of Fates and Furies, The Monsters of Templeton, and Arcadia, as well as the short story collection Delicate Edible Birds. She lives in Florida with her family.
Length: 279 pages
Set in: New York, United States