Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New this Week: Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman

I’m never sure where to place Carol Goodman’s work. And I’m not the only one. Though she tends to weave elements of suspense into her novels -- books that have included the luminous The Ghost Orchid and the lovely The Seduction of Water -- it’s a mistake to say she writes novels of suspense or that she only writes novels of suspense. Goodman’s voice is mature and strong, her work is masterful, her confidence complete and her work tends to be about much more than we see at first glance.

We witness this again in Arcadia Falls (Ballantine Books), the novel Booklist called “A wonderfully atmospheric literary mystery.” And while that’s no kind of insult, it comes nowhere near to describing this atmospheric and magical book.

Folklore expert Meg Rosenthal, teaching at a new school after the death of her husband, is drawn into the roots of a local fairytale that is in all ways more startling than it at first appears.

The upstate New York boarding school where Meg has accepted a position; the creaky and neglected old cottage she and her daughter are invited to move in to; and then the death of a student practically on the teacher’s first night in town all set us up for the sort of windswept weekend of horror we’ve all seen so many times before. But then Goodman takes us deeper, and we’re at a place where myth touches mystery and women’s choices intersect with art. It’s all too good and too beautifully bound for me to want to share much more, but this is a journey worth taking and Goodman? She’s an author I’ll continue to watch.

Arcadia Falls
is a lovely book that I’m certain will be among my favorites for 2010.



Post a Comment

<< Home