Florida by Lauren Groff


The New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies returns, bringing the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature. A family retreat can be derailed by a prowling panther, or by a sexual secret. Among those navigating this place are a resourceful pair of abandone...

Details Florida

Release DateJun 5th, 2018
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews Florida

  • Emily May
    The truth might be moral, but it isn't always right. Snakes, gators, swamps and storms form the backdrop of these exquisitely human stories.I have to say I enjoyed Florida so much more than Fates and Furies. Groff's writing style is dense and wordy, metaphorical and poetic and - sometimes - exhausting. Reading her full-length novel was a chore, but for me at least, Groff seems born to write short stories. Small, hard-hitting snippets of lives tha...
  • Esil
    3+ starsI loved Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. I thought the writing was absolutely brilliant and the story and characters were really original. So I was pretty excited to get my hands on Florida, which is Groff’s latest short story collection. Unfortunately, I can’t rave about the stories in the same way I raved about Fates and Furies. I recognize her talented writing, but there was a flat clever feel to her stories that made it hard for...
  • Hannah
    Any book called “Florida” needs to be infused by a thorough sense of place and Lauren Groff does just that. I have been a fan since LOVING Fates and Furies a few years back and have been meaning to pick up more of her books and this very strong collection of short stories has cemented her place in my heart.While not every story is set in Florida, Groff’s protagonists all have a connection to that place, a connection they sometimes strain ag...
  • Dianne
    Here's the thing - I really do love Groff's writing. These short stories are no exception; she is a master craftsman. She paints so well with her words and phrasing. It's just that.....I don't do so well with "dark," and all eleven of these stories are pretty dark. I don't think Lauren Groff likes Florida very much!Here's what I took away from this collection:Florida is mold, feral cats, snakes, bugs, humidity, rot, spanish moss, vines, gators, s...
  • PattyMacDotComma
    3.5~4★“When she was pregnant with Jude’s sister, she came into the bathroom to take a cool bath one August night and, without her glasses, missed the three‑foot albino alligator her husband had stored in the bathtub. The next morning, she was gone.”Florida. Hot, sticky, treacherous, or as one character says “damp, dense tangle. An Eden of dangerous things.” I have spent time there, and I now live in a similar climate in Australia, s...
  • Rebecca Foster
    Two major, connected threads in this superb story collection are ambivalence about Florida, and ambivalence about motherhood. There’s an oppressive atmosphere throughout, with environmental catastrophe an underlying threat. Set-ups vary in scope from almost the whole span of a life to one scene. A dearth of named characters emphasizes just how universal the scenarios and emotions are. Groff’s style is like a cross between Karen Russell’s S...
  • Katie
    If these stories are anything to go by Lauren Groff is almost comprehensively disillusioned with men. Men in these stories are either absent, inept, in another world or downright threatening. The last story - and by far the least successful - goes the whole hog and deploys Guy de Mauspassant to paint a thoroughly irksome and depressing portrait of masculinity. As a Brit one tends to forget how many deadly creatures there are in the US. The most s...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    During a recent visit, Lauren Groff shared that when her husband proposed moving back to his native Florida, she, appalled, made him sign a contract that they would leave in 10 years years. That was more than 12 years ago. In the intervening years, she has come to love the state and all its weirdness, and even gave it the top acknowledgement for this, her excellent book of short stories. She knows she is a short story writer, having entered Amher...
  • Rose (Traveling Sister)
    2.5 starsApparently, there is nothing more to write about in Florida besides miserable mothers, storms, and snakes. At its best, the short stories in Groff's new collection read like rough studies of Carson McCullers. There's Southern Gothic elements: anthropomorphized desperation, fleeting, mysterious characters, and the sense that life is essentially a giant screwball carnival. "Eyewall," "Salvador," and "Dogs Go Wolf" were about the only stori...
  • Dan
    I really liked this collection! As a Florida boy, I had high expectations and Groff met them and surpassed them. She captured the other side of the place that tourists — and the popular imagination — often miss, the grittiness and the quiet desperation. This collection is filled with a palpable sense of danger lurking around every corner in the natural world. The protagonists go to great lengths to protect themselves from panthers, gators, sn...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    I have spent a long time thinking Lauren Groff and I just weren't a fit. Before this I'd read all three of her novels, and while I liked each better than the last, her distinctive style and prose were never the things that I liked the most. A story collection didn't seem like a good bet for us, since story collections tend to lean into an author's style and give less opportunities for the big plots that I've preferred from her. Ultimately I decid...
  • Resh (The Book Satchel)
    4.5 starsThe writing is brilliant - slow, atmospheric, dark, vulnerable characters and has themes of loneliness, grief and loss. The book is a delight from start to the end. If you enjoy stories for their quality of narration and not necessarily look for a definitive ending, this one's for you. An excellent short story collection of 2018
  • Ana
    “Ghosts and Empties” 3 stars “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners” 3 stars “Dogs Go Wolf” 2 stars “The Midnight Zone” 2 stars “Eyewall” 2 stars “For the God of Love, for the Love of God” 2.5 stars “Salvador” 2.5 stars “Flower Hunters” 2 stars “Above and Below” 2 stars “Snake Stories” 2 stars “Yport” 4 stars Each story is slowly smothered by the overwritten prose, characters burdened with ...
  • Amy
    This book doesn't bother with quotation marks, and it's full of snakes. I hate both of those things. Yet here I am, giving it 5 stars. Enough said.
  • Neil
    This was my first real experience of Groff. The final story in this collection, Yport, was included in Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists 3 which I read several months ago, but that didn’t help me much because it has been so majorly re-worked by the time it gets into this collection that it is almost a new piece (same basic story, but significantly edited): I was comparing the two for the first few paragraphs, but the changes are so n...
  • Heather
    This is such an excellent collection of short stories. The words and images are so sparkly and perfect they seem to almost glow in the dark. Groff creates an ethereal otherworldly realm with swans whose hearts break, mothers who inhabit panthers, houses that possess their inhabitants and girls who live like dogs that need to be wolves. And this strange, beautiful tangled land is named Florida. Each word is as delicate and luminous as an egg hatch...
  • Rebecca Renner
    I loved this book so much that I think I want to reread it. Some of the stories hearken back to Groff's Arcadia (my previous favorite of her books), and others chart new territory entirely. The stories themselves are both domestic and exotic, and they are deeply rooted in the state I love. I'm so used to reading literary fiction that's very New York-centric, so it was both delightful and strange to recognize the city where I was born (Gainesville...
  • Elaine Mullane
    4.5 starsEleven stories; eleven people with a connection to the state of Florida, which in itself is a character in this newest offering from Lauren Groff. Florida's dense landscapes, its damp climate, its energy and its history come together to form a wonderful collection of engrossing stories about mostly women, mothers and their families. The coherence in these stories lies in their ability to unnerve you; to make you feel like the ground you ...
  • Rod-Kelly Hines
    Generally, a beautifully written collection, but the last story Yport is a stunning, brilliant feat of storytelling worth the price of the whole book.
  • Katie (katieladyreads)
    Maybe since I’m a Floridian this books makes me defensive, but damn I swear Florida is not as scary and depressing as Groff makes it out to be!
  • Katie Long
    Lauren Groff is an author who I really can’t pinpoint why she isn’t a favorite. All of the elements are there, sharp insights, lovely prose, compelling plot, so why does it always fall a little flat for me? I did like these stories, that are linked more by melancholy and themes of isolation and dread than they are by place, but I wanted to love them. I will love a book by her one day, but we aren’t quite there yet.
  • Kathleen
    There is an aspect of menace in Groff’s set of eleven short stories; and her excellent narration of the audiobook just reinforces this undercurrent of unease. There are hurricanes, snakes, alligators, searing heat, and car-swallowing sinkholes. Her protagonists tend to drink too much, have unfulfilling relationships, and occasionally see ghosts. Thankfully, Groff’s writing successfully balances the fear many of her characters feel without suc...
  • Jim Coughenour
    Two months ago I moved from San Francisco to St Petersburg, Florida. Not long after I’d arrived, I spotted Groff’s book* and thought, ah, an introduction. I’m not sure what I expected, my curiosity only sharpened by an essay I’d stumbled upon the same week, Sarah Viren’s “Everything Went Wild”.When I said I was moving here, my friends in California were appalled and my family here was worried that I’d hate it. Since I’ve moved I...
  • Drew
    6 out of 5. I never wanted this collection to end. I forced myself to hang onto stories, to leave the collection where I couldn't get to it for a day or three, just so that the experience would extend. Groff is, of course, a master writer -- but this collection might be the strongest, most important thing she's produced. It is honest, brutal, open, poignant. It is a look at today, at the world today, at everything wrong today and at the little mo...
  • Alex
    3.5 Lauren Groff is one of the hottest writers in contemporary American lit, especially after Barack Obama called her previous novel Fates and Furies one of his favourites. In Florida, she produces a series of short stories, all revolving around (some quite tangentially so) the state of Florida. Groff is a pro, and her writing is tight, moody, brooding, filled with ghosts, snakes, despair of imminent environmental destruction. Most are gripping, ...
  • Haley
    I had previously read two stories from this collection, The Midnight Zone and For the God of Love, for the Love of God - they were both standouts in the Best American Short Stories series in 2017 and 2016. Other than these two stories, I only *really* enjoyed one, Eyewall, about a woman who is visited by ghosts during a hurricane. These stories are about lonely dissatisfied women and mothers, the dark thrill of the Florida jungle, and uncertain...
  • Barbara
    3.5 stars“Florida” by Lauren Groff is a collection of short stories involving women (all the protagonists are women) and the state of Florida. These are dark and gloomy stories; stories that make one second-guess their impending Floridian vacation. I knew about the alligator and hurricane threats, but now I’m going to be paranoid about snakes as well! Although the stories have a morose bent, they are mesmerizing. Why read this collection? B...
  • Riley Redgate
    [silently screaming]if this has "ghosts and empties" and "the midnight zone," it's already the best book of 2018EDIT: it does and it was
  • Mark
    “Florida is mold, feral cats, snakes, bugs, humidity, rot, spanish moss, vines, gators, sinkholes, homelessness, tent cities, termites, mosquitos, hurricanes, lizards, panthers, "a damp and dense tangle," bleaching sun, dread and heat...”“What had been built to seem so solid was fragile in the face of time because time is impassive, more animal than human. Time would not care if you fell out of it. It would continue on without you.” Readi...