Arcadia Falls

Arcadia Falls

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Overview

Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman, Jen Taylor

There once was a girl who liked to pretend she was lost. . . .
 
Meg Rosenthal is driving toward the next chapter in her life. Winding along a wooded roadway, her car moves through a dense forest setting not unlike one in the bedtime stories Meg used to read to her daughter, Sally. But the girl riding beside Meg is a teenager now, and has exchanged the land of make-believe for an iPod and some personal space. Too much space, it seems, as the chasm between them has grown since the sudden, unexpected death of Meg’s husband.

    Dire financial straits and a desire for a fresh start take Meg and Sally from a comfortable life on Long Island to a tucked-away hamlet in upstate New York: Arcadia Falls, where Meg has accepted a teaching position at a boarding school. The creaky, neglected cottage Meg and Sally are to call home feels like an ill portent of things to come, but Meg is determined to make the best of it—and to make a good impression on the school’s dean, the diminutive, elegant Ivy St. Clare.

St. Claire, however, is distracted by a shocking crisis: During Arcadia’s First Night bonfire, one of Meg’s folklore students, Isabel Cheney, plunges to her death in a campus gorge. Sheriff Callum Reade finds Isabel’s death suspicious, but then, he is a man with secrets and a dark past himself.

Meg is unnerved by Reade’s interest in the girl’s death, and as long-buried secrets emerge, she must face down her own demons and the danger threatening to envelop Sally. As the past clings tight to the present, the shadows, as if in a terrifying fairy tale, grow longer and deadlier.

In Arcadia Falls, award-winning author Carol Goodman deftly weaves a mesmerizing narrative of passion: for revenge, for art, for love.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780792763536
Publisher: AudioGO
Publication date: 03/28/2010
Product dimensions: 6.62(w) x 6.23(h) x 2.02(d)

About the Author

Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, The Drowning Tree, The Ghost Orchid, The Sonnet Lover, and The Night Villa. The Seduction of Water won the Hammett Prize, and others of her novels have been nominated for the Dublin/IMPAC Award and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her fiction has been translated into eight languages. She lives in New York State with her family.

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Arcadia Falls 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
scentednights2002 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
craso More than 1 year ago
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.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
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.
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Acadia falls was hard to fallow the plot was rushed and other timea in misplace oderly i didnot enjoy acadia falls
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Amanda Jones More than 1 year ago
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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MareCT More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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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AvaStuart More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago