Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Arcadia Falls & The Invisible Bridge

A few days ago, Danielle of the incomparable book blog A Work In Progress (see the link to the right) asked for my opinion about Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman. It's a gothic, for sure, set in an arts-oriented boarding school in a beautifully rendered setting in upstate New York (an area south of where I live).

I found the writing to be lyrical, quite lovely, in fact. But the plot and the characterization disappointed me, which was exactly the criticism I had about Lake of the Dead Languages, Goodman's first novel. If you adore gothics, don't miss Arcadia Falls. That would be my advice. But if you are lukewarm toward them, I would not recommend that you seek this one out.

Danielle, what was your opinion of the Goodman novel you read? I'd be very interested to know what you thought.

Oh, The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer! I'm in awe of this historical novel, set in Europe from 1937 through the latter part of World War II. At 600 pages, a sprawling book indeed. And I'm so in awe of Orringer's writing.

What I appreciate most are the intricate, colorful details she weaves into each scene. I explained to a friend that at times I feel I'm involved in the events or that I'm engrossed in an amazing film made just for me. I can see exactly what's happening and can feel the emotions of the characters. Excellent characterization, by the way, and though I'm only on page 200 (I know I can't utter a judgment on the plot), I will say the plot is engaging me thoroughly.

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