Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman

Arcadia Falls had a little bit of everything! Good storytelling, interesting characters, and awesome atmosphere.

After Meg Rosenthal's husband passes away suddenly, she finds herself in need of a job to support her and her daughter, Sally. They move to Arcadia Falls where she starts teaching at an arts school. Meg's background is in fairy tales and part of the appeal of Arcadia Falls is the town's rich history in both the arts and storytelling. One of the schools founders created wonderful fairy tales which Meg grew up on. She couldn't resist going to the place that inspired it all. Just as Meg and Sally arrive and get settled, a student mysteriously dies. The death starts to reveal the dark side of the school and the town. Meg stumbles upon many secrets from both past and present.

Arcadia Falls has a very atmospheric Gothic feeling to it. I really liked how the fairy tales were woven into the story. I also liked the multi-layered historical aspect of the book. Without giving too much of the story way, everything and everyone seems somehow connected to the past and current stories taking place.

My only gripe about Goodman's book is that there seemed to be an abnormal amount of people drawn to one particular cliff on the school grounds. The number of people falling, dying, threatening to kill themselves at this cliff provided over the top drama.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you were a fan of Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale. This had a very similar feeling to it.

Source disclosure: I received a review copy of this from Ballantine Books as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

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