I feel like this is the first book I’ve read for fun (even though my professor recommended that I read it) in a while! I just finished Florida by Lauren Groff, which I meant to read all of this past summer because it generated so much hype.
I haven’t read a good short story collection in a while, even though I always find them very helpful in writing my own short stories. But Florida was a great read; I love the way Groff writes about the Florida landscape. Each short story is very grounded in place, especially in the first couple of stories. The way she writes about Florida is nostalgic yet haunting. She really focuses on the amount of snakes and alligators crawling around the swampy landscape.
My favorite stories were “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners,” “Eyewall,” and “Above and Below.” The first is a coming of age story, full of snakes and snake imagery; the second is a ghost/hurricane story; and the last is about a wannabe professor who finds herself recently homeless.
Most of Groff’s stories lack quotation marks, which adds to the haunting feel of her writing. She definitely has a way with language, and all of her lines feel poignant. Overall, I definitely recommend it!
VERDICT: 5 stars