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Arcadia Falls Audio Download – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 24 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 8 Sept. 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00607CAF0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arcadia Falls starts with a recently widowed mother, Meg Rosenthal, and her teenage daughter, Sally, travelling to an elite private college in the North East of the United States, where the mother has been appointed as a teacher. The daughter is a stereotypical teenager and is far from happy about this move. The author seems very comfortable with this sort of setting. The Lake Of Dead Languages and Carol Goodman's latest offering, Incubus (Fairwick Chronicles 1) both also involve single woman who have moved to similar colleges to teach. There are gothic overtones, pagan rites, witchcraft and folklore with strong hints of the supernatural which are all recurrent themes in Goodman's work.

The author has two parallel stories unfolding, one in the present day and one set about 80 years ago. These are linked by a journal written by one of the founders of the school, Lily Eberhardt, which Meg reads. Lily died tragically, and this is paralleled by a present day death at the school. The underlying theme of the book is the mystery as to the real circumstances of these deaths as there is a hint in both cases that there is more to these than straight forward accidents. Meg tells the story in the first person in the present tense - this can be an awkward way to write, but it generally works very well here.

For most of the book the author tells the story at a very gentle pace but writes beautifully.
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By F. S. L'hoir VINE VOICE on 27 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Boarding school in the wooded Catskill Mountains, secret compartments, weird "pagan rites," unconventional relationships, untoward deaths--if these ingredients are your cup of tea, then "Arcadia Falls" is for you. And the mood-driven Gothic revival novel will keep you reading to the end, even though the author perhaps leads the reader down one too many twisting paths in her story line.

The main character is likable, but the novel is structured in such a way that any reader familiar with the genre will be way ahead of Meg in jumping to the expected conclusions as well as in recognizing when she is being manipulated, not only by the other characters but also by the author. And while improbabilities and coincidences are par for the course in such novels, the ending is so pat as to be beyond belief.

Curiously, the most effective part of the novel is the changeling fairy tale, which is so beautifully written that one can picture it mentally, complete with 1920s wood-block illustrations. And although it later became apparent to me that the main character narrates the story in the present tense in order to distinguish her story from the fairy tale and from Lily's journal--written in past tense, use of the present tense in the central narrative bothered me (I also found that while Lily's 'journal entries' were necessary to organising the plot, they interrupted the flow of the narrative). Mention of several actual brand names during the course of the story also gave me the feeling that I had become the victim of commercial product placement.

Bottom Line: "Arcadia Falls" is an entertaining book to take with you to while away your tedious hours of waiting at the airport in the unlikely event that your flight is delayed.

Reviewed for Vine; Amazon.com
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Format: Paperback
Having never read anything by Carol Goodman before, I was interested in the book title, summary and cover and decided to give it a read. Overall, I enjoyed it. The imagery in the book is startlingly good- the author has a real talent for building up tension and setting a scene. I could picture Arcadia quite clearly as she discussed the grounds and characters over the course of the book. In particular, I found Sally Rosenthal, Meg's daughter, to be quite an intriguing character, to the point I wish the book had been written from her perspective over Meg's. Chloe Dawson was another character that stood out well and I feel like her personality and motivations translated well. The mystery aspect of the book was interesting, especially as the author intermingles an aura of witchcraft and the supernatural into her story without being overt about it. As the plot unfolds into the complicated relationships between the characters of the past, I was eager to find out just what those behind it were hiding. The diary entries with Lily's perspective were very interesting and the author did a good job conveying the differences in time periods, as well as communicating the passion for the arts felt by the characters very well.

What prevents the book from getting five stars was first of all, while I loved the actual story and the author's descriptions, I found Meg Rosenthal very annoying. We're supposedly meant to sympathise with her, but she comes across as whiny, petty and quite superior, which is possibly why I enjoyed Lily's chapters (even if Lily was clearly very deluded), because they gave me a break from Meg's narration. The plot twist at the end of the book was incredibly confusing and kind of undermined another plot twist that had happened before.
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