“Lauren Groff is a great storyteller . . . Florida is restorative fiction for these urgent times. Its final gestures, even the most ominous . . . lean toward love and the promise of good people, in not just this state but the world.”



This collection of 11 stories take place either in Florida, or is about Floridians traveling either in Salvador or France.

These are dark stories, mostly about unpleasant experiences. There are alligators, snakes, sinkholes and hurricanes. Abandoned children, cheating spouses, broken families and those on the road looking to forget and maybe start anew.

The author of Fates and Furies can write about darkness, and write very well. The stories are interesting and very different from each other. Florida is known for its wildness in its weather, insect and animal life and these stories reflect those things very well. The startling thing here is that the stories involving children who are or will be abandoned are the strongest in the book, and the resilience of these children come through quite clearly, especially in one story where two sisters are abandoned on an island and their efforts to get through each day until the mother, or the person the mother left them with, will return.

If your looking for upbeat, this book probably won’t be for you, but for those who have no problem dealing with the bitter sides of life, they will find plenty to be happy with.

Recommended with reservations.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 2nd August 2018

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Richard Franco