Florida

Cover of book Florida
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Categories: Fiction

Florida is a collection of short stories by at-first unwilling Florida resident, Lauren Groff. The stories often deal with children and families overcoming the fierce deadly things of Florida (i.e. hu

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rricanes, swamps, snakes, sinkholes, lightning, etc). As a former Florida resident and Florida lover myself, I enjoyed the dichotomous descriptions of the sticky, poisonous, hellacious nature of this state full of sun, sand, and Mickey Mouse. Spanish moss is described as, dangling "armpit hair". And as one narrator sees it, “On my nighttime walks, the neighbors’ lives reveal themselves, the lit windows domestic aquariums”. Groff's understanding of human nature results in vivid tales and uncanny descriptions. However, at times the details overwhelm the plot and become too intelligent, too clever. It feels like all of the narrators are consumed by unending deep thinking, which for some stories was too much. Some conclusions and endings don't live up this contemplation. But overall the stories knit nicely together into an interesting look into the human psyche as it fights love, loss, and grief in a place of dark undertones, Florida. I enjoyed many of the stories, particularly: "Ghosts and Empties", "At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners", "Eyewall", and "For the God of Love, for the Love of God". The storytelling is enjoyable and clever, and reminded me of my days of Florida living.

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