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Month in review

Reviews
10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert
Angelfish by Laurence Yep
Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman
Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
Azumanga Daioh Omnibus by Kiyohiko Azuma
The Best Cat in the World by Lesléa Newman
Brain Thief by Alexander Jablokov
The Country Child by Alison Uttley
Donorboy by Brendan Halpin
The Doorbells for Florence by Andrew Losowsky
Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
The Falling Raindrop by Neil Johnson
Flotsam by David Wiesner
Fullmetal Alchemist 06 by Hiromu Arakawa
Gingerbread Girl by Paul Tobin
Kraken by China Miéville
Mañana Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul
Mr. Sweetpants and the Living Dead by Albert E. Cowdry
Nick of Time by Ted Bell
The Night Owls by Peter Timony
Nylon Road by Pasua Bashi
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
The Sign Painter by Allen Say
A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman
The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
Waking the Moon by Elizabeth Hand
Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien
xxxHolic 02 by CLAMP
Yotsuba&! 01 by Kiyohiko Azuma
Yummy by G. Neri

Misc
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (August 01)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (August 08)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (August 15)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (August 22)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (August 29)

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Arcadia Falls: 08/26/11

cover art

Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman was recommended to me by the blog, A Life in Books. The review compares it to the gothic romance novels of Barbara Michaels and I was intrigued.

Meg Rosenthal, recently widowed, and her teenage daughter move to Arcadia Falls, where she will be teaching at a boarding school that was once an artists' commune. She is also there to finalize the research on her thesis as the school will be a source of primary sources.

Shortly after arriving one of the students falls to her death during a night time event. Her death brings to light unusual similarities with the death of one of the school's founders, Lily. Fortunately for us, Meg has found the Lily's long lost diary and can compare the recorded history with Lily's version of events leading to her death.

To further complicate things, Goodman tosses in long passages of a fairy tale written at the school. It's supposed to set the Gothic mood of the novel and give clues to mysteries at hand but it didn't work for me. It read like a whole pile of filler instead of being a meaningful contribution to the novel.

Lily's story ended up being the most realistic and compelling piece of the novel. Meg is too scatter brained and passive to count as a convincing lead character. Even when she's worried about her daughter's safety, she can't manage to act decisively. She's tossed up again a pair of villains with ties to the older mystery who are constructed out of nothing but cliches that the ending is laughable. What Arcadia Falls needed was a twist ending so that everything was actually in Meg's mind.

Three stars.

Comments (2)


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Comment #1: Monday, August, 29, 2011 at 14:33:40

Grace @ Graced with Books

I tried to read this, but it seemed too just drag for me. I DNF it, even though I tried really hard to! Great review :)



Comment #2: Sunday, September 4, 2011 at 22:45:43

Pussreboots

You didn't miss much by not finishing it.