Customer Reviews for

Arcadia Falls

Average Rating 4
( 35 )
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(14)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Arcadia Falls is a captivating read!

I'd never read a Carol Goodman book before so I wasn't sure what to expect starting this book. I have to say that I really enjoyed it! Meg is a totally believable mom with a teenage daughter that reminds me a lot of my daughter. They move to an artsy private boardin...
I'd never read a Carol Goodman book before so I wasn't sure what to expect starting this book. I have to say that I really enjoyed it! Meg is a totally believable mom with a teenage daughter that reminds me a lot of my daughter. They move to an artsy private boarding school where Meg takes a job teaching at the school loacated in a small rural community in Upstate New York that reminds me of the town I live in.

Meg is familiar with the town because of an old fairy tale called The Changeling Girl that she used to tell her daughter when she was younger. This fairy tale totally captivated me! The fairy tale is woven in and out throughout the book. Soon there is a mysterious death at the boarding school and Meg is drawn into the dark secrets surrounding the school when she finds an old journal.

I won't give away any more of the story because I know you'll want to read it! I really enjoyed Carol Goodman's style of writing. It was so hard for me to put the book down that dinner was noticabely late one night because I just had to find out what happened!

posted by scentednights2002 on February 6, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Interesting but convoluted story

I found this an interesting and compelling read for a good portion of the story, but toward the end it got too convoluted and -- at times -- unbelievable. How many times, for example, did Meg Rosenthal nearly fall to her death into the clove? And how many times do other...
I found this an interesting and compelling read for a good portion of the story, but toward the end it got too convoluted and -- at times -- unbelievable. How many times, for example, did Meg Rosenthal nearly fall to her death into the clove? And how many times do others nearly fall? Four people in the story actually DO fall to their deaths (3 present day, one in the past) but despite the obvious danger, the school continues to allow the students to hold their pagan rites which always seem to involve approaching the cliff. And while I'm on the subject, what about the death of the student? No mention of her parents demanding an investigation, particularly of the loosey goosey attitude the administration continues to harbor toward these dangerous rites? No immediate ban on future rites? Then in another unbelievable scene leading up to the next death, we are asked to picture an octogenarian jumping out a window and running up a hill into the woods with Meg and a student chasing after her. I also really still don't understand the motivations in the two murders. They don't seem enough reason to commit murder. The descriptions of the trees and the changeling fairy tale themes were interesting, just not enough to mask the common sense problems with the story.

posted by JustMyTwoCents on August 2, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    Interesting but convoluted story

    I found this an interesting and compelling read for a good portion of the story, but toward the end it got too convoluted and -- at times -- unbelievable. How many times, for example, did Meg Rosenthal nearly fall to her death into the clove? And how many times do others nearly fall? Four people in the story actually DO fall to their deaths (3 present day, one in the past) but despite the obvious danger, the school continues to allow the students to hold their pagan rites which always seem to involve approaching the cliff. And while I'm on the subject, what about the death of the student? No mention of her parents demanding an investigation, particularly of the loosey goosey attitude the administration continues to harbor toward these dangerous rites? No immediate ban on future rites? Then in another unbelievable scene leading up to the next death, we are asked to picture an octogenarian jumping out a window and running up a hill into the woods with Meg and a student chasing after her. I also really still don't understand the motivations in the two murders. They don't seem enough reason to commit murder. The descriptions of the trees and the changeling fairy tale themes were interesting, just not enough to mask the common sense problems with the story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Arcadia Falls is a captivating read!

    I'd never read a Carol Goodman book before so I wasn't sure what to expect starting this book. I have to say that I really enjoyed it! Meg is a totally believable mom with a teenage daughter that reminds me a lot of my daughter. They move to an artsy private boarding school where Meg takes a job teaching at the school loacated in a small rural community in Upstate New York that reminds me of the town I live in.

    Meg is familiar with the town because of an old fairy tale called The Changeling Girl that she used to tell her daughter when she was younger. This fairy tale totally captivated me! The fairy tale is woven in and out throughout the book. Soon there is a mysterious death at the boarding school and Meg is drawn into the dark secrets surrounding the school when she finds an old journal.

    I won't give away any more of the story because I know you'll want to read it! I really enjoyed Carol Goodman's style of writing. It was so hard for me to put the book down that dinner was noticabely late one night because I just had to find out what happened!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 5, 2010

    Will the past repeat itself?

    Recently widowed Meg Rosenthanl and her teenage daughter Sally, leave surburbia and hope to begin a new life in upstate New York. Orginally conceived as an artists colony, the Arcadia school has become an arts boarding school and Meg feels fortunate to have secured a teaching job that comes housing and a place for Sally to attend as well. A death begins to mirror another death from the early 40's and the school's background in pagan rituals, folklore and fairytales comes under susupicion. The story, with its many twists, was easy to follow and I didn't mind that I figured some of them out before the characters. I also enjoyed the past storyline intermingling with the present.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not a bad read

    When I first started to read the book I found it interesting. Then it started to drag. Nothing interesting really happened until Chapter 6. I was expecting a different type of story all together. The main character was talking about fairy tails so I was expecting something enchanting. Then when I noticed that it was not going to be an enchanting story I was hoping for a mystery that was not predictable and was let down. Early into the book I predicted the end and I was right on the nose. All in all it was not a terrible book and it is a good one to end the year!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    Acadia i just didnt like

    Acadia falls was hard to fallow the plot was rushed and other timea in misplace oderly i didnot enjoy acadia falls

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Loved it

    Very good read! If you love the Brothers Grim and fairy tales twisted up with a modern day mystery I recomend this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Full of possibilites, not all fulfilled

    Goodman's story starts off strong. Her narrative and descriptive voice is engaging and her premise holds alot of possibility. It has all the elements to be a fantastic story about the lives of women. It's layered with suspense and mystery both modern and historical. However, toward the middle it begins to lose steam. There is a level of redundancy to some of her major plot moments. Certain characters never stretch beyond the initial flatness they begin with and her pop-culture references glare oddly out of what is otherwise a sort of timeless, otherwordly setting. I will definitely try another of her novels, but this one didn't quite come through as I had hoped.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Loved it!

    This is the first Carol Goodman book l've read and l can't wait to read another. I couldn't put the book down.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Ms. Goodman has done it again...and well

    I love Carol Goodman's books and this one is no exception. Her characters are memorable, believable, and so human that they feel as if they are in the room with you. The atmosphere that she creates at the private art school in Arcadia Falls is suspenseful and charming in equal amounts. Ms. Goodman's detailed descriptions and intelligent dialogue make this a wonderful book to settle in with on a rainy weekend to escape from the real world. I listened to the audio edition and the reader, Jen Taylor, was very good. I would definitely listen to a book narrated by her again.

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    the strong characters make for a taut thriller

    When Jude Rosenthal suddenly died from a heart attack, he left behind a widow Meg, a teen daughter Sally and a ton of debt. With no time to grieve and unable to remain in their exclusive Long Island home, Meg quickly accepts a teaching position at the Acadia private school in the Catskills in Acadia Falls; Sally receives free tuition to attend.

    Soon after mother and daughter arrive, a student Isabel dies after falling off a nearby cliff. Meg learns the school was founded just before the Depression by a lesbian couple Vera Beecher and author Lily Eberhardt who wrote the classic fable "The Changeling Girl." Lily fell from the same cliff that Isabel just did. Meanwhile Sheriff Callum Reade investigates the recent fall while he and the new teacher are attracted to one another. Meg find Lily's lost diary and learns that painter Virgil Nash impregnated her, which is why the painter fled her lover to paint a mural for a convent, St. Lucy's for unwed mothers and orphans. Years later Lily's daughter Ivy St. Clare arrived to attend the school; the same woman who is now dean of the school.

    Although over edge of the cliff, the strong characters make for a taut thriller. The emphasis is on the role of women in society as females make difficult choices often alone that sacrifice their desires and impact their loved ones. Frequently, the female is unfairly held accountable by others who fail to wear the "Scarlet Letter" wearer's moccasins; instead ignore the available possibilities that the decision maker weighed costs (including emotional) vs. benefits, which makes it easier to morally condemn the female for her selection. Character driven with a strong cast including the journals written by the lesbian lovers, readers will enjoy this deep tale of choices.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted June 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good, Not Great, But Good

    Carol Goodman is one of my favorite authors and I could not wait until her newest novel was released. It has all the mystery and intrigue that I think her reader's expect from her, but the romantic-connection between the main male and female character wasn't as strong as it is in some of her other novels. The characters were likable but their relationship weren't as developed as I would have liked. I feel that Goodman could have used an extra 50 pages to add some more events that would make their relationships seem more believable. The plot was good, somewhat predictable at times, but I don't think a Goodman fan will be disappointed with her newest novel.

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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    More than what I expected.

    This is the first Carol Goodman book I ever read and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. At first, her writing seemed extremely overdescriptive. It was hard to get past her page long descriptions of how the trees looked or how the sky looked, but as I kept reading I came to appreciate those descriptions because they really helped to create a unique atmosphere for the novel. I really could picture Arcadia in my head and it made it that much easier for me to get completely absorbed in this book. The characters are great; they are slightly flawed and slightly humorous and all together very well written. I also really like how the story jumps between present day and the past via the journal entries. I have read several other Carol Goodman novels since this one and I have noticed that she does the same sort of time jumping in other novels too, but I love it and I think it is a great method of telling a complicated story. All in all, I really liked this book and I will continue to read Goodman's work.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A little Mystery and a little Magic

    I chose this book because it's about a teacher, and I'm a teacher, but it turned out to be so much more. I love it when authors are able to tell a story inside a story. The main characters attempt to solve a mystery that happened at the boarding school years before. A little mystery, a little magic, and a priceless read.

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  • Posted March 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Mystery Set at an Art School

    Meg Rosenthal is grieving over the death of her husband. His death was unexpected and he left her with many debts. She takes a job at a boarding school in upstate New York, sells their home, and moves to Arcadia Falls with their daughter Sally. The school has a long rich history. It was started as an artist's colony by Vera Beecher and Lily Eberhardt. Lily tragically died falling into the cove at the falls. Only a few days after arriving, a young student falls to her death very much like Lily did. Are the two deaths connected?

    I thought this story would have a literal ghost or haunting. There is nothing paranormal about this novel. Instead, the characters are haunted by past memories. There is a story about a woman in white that is said to materialize in the woods surrounding the falls. The tale does play an important part in the plot, but the apparition that plagues the school is Lily's death and its consequences.

    Folklore plays a big part in the plot. Vera and Lily, the founders of the school, wrote and illustrated an original fairytale. Meg and Sally start to recite the story as they get near the boarding school. Meg is a folklore teacher who is researching the history of the school. The fairytale was very important to her when she was growing up. The tale holds many clues to Lily's death.

    This mystery was a compulsive read. It was fun to decipher the clues and figure out the ending before the main character. Unfortunately, the number of people and the circumstances that cause them to fall to their deaths becomes comical. I also didn't like how Meg and Sally turn out to be a part of Arcadia Falls history. I thought that was a bit far fetched.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Carol Goodman books have a magical aura about them . . .

    I always know I will be well entertained when I choose a Carol Goodman book - now that I have finished ARCADIA FALLS, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for her next offering. I was glad that this was another book set in a private school, as this author excells with this type of environment in her stories. One thing I didn't understand was why the ending had to be so twisted and jumbled - it almost seemed contrived to make Arcadia Falls heroines heirs in some way to the school's history. This is the first time I have ever questioned anything about this author's works. Ms. Goodman's novels are so masterfully crafted that they stand alone and do not need trick endings that leave the reader with questions.

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  • Posted March 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Stunning!

    Meg is trying to push forward in life and Sally is closing herself off. Meg is unhappy that the two of them have drifted so far apart and with the death of Meg's husband, Sally's father, the bridge between them has been closed off.

    Meg wants to move to a new place and start a new life. Money troubles just reinforce the need to move on. Meg accepts a job as a teacher and is desperately trying to make the best of the cards she has been dealt.

    When one of Meg's students dies during a bonfire and the sheriff feels that foul play may be the cause, she learns that everyone has skeletons in their closet and some will kill to keep that closet locked.

    This stunning book is the work of a truly artistic writer. I plunged into this novel and almost suffocated because I didn't want to come up for air. Read it in one sitting if you can. Consider yourself warned:)

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    Posted January 2, 2011

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    Posted June 2, 2010

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    Posted July 18, 2011

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