Florida by Lauren Groff


In Lauren Groff’s Florida, the hot sun shines, but a wild darkness lurks. In her thrilling new book, Lauren Groff brings 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 navigatin...

Details Florida

Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherRiverhead Books
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...
  • Michael
    My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.A collection of eleven short stories set mostly in the titular state, Florida examines the inner lives of young women and mothers afflicted by malaise, alcoholism, and, occasionally, despair. Abusive men, neglected children, unbearable storms, and the southern wilderness recur throughout the collection; the pieces gathered here feel like variations on the same set of...
  • 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...
  • Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
    The first line in “Florida”, never left me.....“I have somehow become a woman who yells”. The entire first story was one of my favorites from the collection. Personally...I’ve played with manatees- taken walks in the scorching heat, spent beach days with our dogs, witnessed thousands of dead smelly fish along the coastline, and survived the panic of my daughter caught in the middle of a nasty hurricane. Florida, flat as a pancake, with ...
  • 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...
  • 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, so I...
  • Rebecca
    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...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    These stories feel to me like a continuation of St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (high praise from me as this remains my favorite short story collection), where Florida remains wild and unsettling and the people managing to live there have some of the same traits. There are also themes of missing parents, negligent/tired mothers, excessive drinking and other escapes, and infidelities that seem tucked away between paragra...
  • Jenna
    I'm not much of a fan of short stories but something about this book kept pulling at me, insisting I read it. Lauren Groff writes beautifully and with many and ever deepening layers. A few of the stories I really loved, a few I liked, and 2 I didn't much care for, but I'm glad I read this book.
  • 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...
  • Britany
    Being a Florida native, I had to pick this book up. This book solidly places Lauren Groff as an author I must read. Short stories are really hard for me. I have a hard time connecting to the characters and separating the narratives out from each story. Some are stronger than others and some feel like filler. I immediately grasped onto Groff's writing. Her descriptions of the geography, the people, the relationships, and even the wildlife and vege...
  • Janet
    This powerhouse of a book, a collection of short stories to cause your socks to shoot from your feet. I generally prefer novels, I have trouble settling into short stories. They're over all too soon, and they still feel unfinished. But not this time. The stories pull you in immediately, and when they've lived out their astonishing, twisty, unpredictable paths, you've gotten everything there is, you don't need a single sentence more. What a writer...
  • 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 ...
  • Melinda
    Lauren Groff is a gifted writer — Fates and Furies enthralled me! — but my eyes hurt from rolling them so hard at this book. The main problem? The narrators are SO ANNOYING, and they're all the same! A 30-something woman with two young sons and a decent (if distant) husband, who fancies herself a sexy misfit because she never fits in with those other moms — the ones who remember to bring cupcakes to class, let their children play princesses...
  • Marchpane
    I’ve never visited Florida, but I do live in a similar climate so this setting, while foreign, felt more familiar than exotic to me. The heat and humidity, lush foliage, abundant wildlife mainly of the pointy-toothed kind, houses built on stumps with ceiling fans and sleepouts in concession to the weather – all are recognisable and skilfully evoked here. Groff’s prose style is impeccable, yet it seems so effortless.Several of the stories in...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Celia
    FloridaI LOVED these short stories about Florida experiences. Why? I guess because I live in and love Florida. In the past (when I reviewed Fates and Furies), I criticized Groff’s flowery, over-the-top language. It seems to work very well here, or maybe it is because I really ID’ed with the story lines.11 Short Stories described:1) GHOSTS AND EMPTIESWalking in the cold of night in Northern Florida, a woman observes her neighbors.2) AT THE ROU...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    The lives of the women in these stories are as sluggish and stifling as a Florida summer. The weather, wildlife, and land of Florida plays a huge part in these stories, and in many cases seems to serve as a metaphor for their lives. Groff’s stories skillfully capture the ennui that can infect middle class motherhood, while still also highlighting the joys. NBA longlisted for fiction, I hope it makes the short list.
  • Abbie | ab_reads
    3.75 starsThank you to @penguinrandomhouse for gifting me this copy of Florida by Lauren Groff to read and review! I’d been intrigued by Groff’s work after seeing a few people loving this collection on Instagram, and while a few of the stories were weaker than others, I’m glad to say that overall I enjoyed it!.Throughout the whole collection there is the major overarching theme of women feeling unsettled or unsuited in their roles as wives ...
  • 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
  • Judith E
    Groff has nailed Florida in her collection of short stories. Snakes, gators, palmettos, sinkholes and environmental changes make a steamy, hot setting and Lauren Groff is excellent at setting and characters. Her portrayal of maternal fears and love of children is lovely. But, as in her novel, Arcadia, there is an absence of intention, a lack of purpose, a jumble of weak thoughts. I feel like her writing is on the cusp of something great. I hope s...
  • 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 ...
  • David J
    3.5Lauren Groff’s “Fates and Furies” rocked the literary world in 2014—I mean, it made Barack Obama’s list, so come on—and I was definitely impressed when I read it the next year. In “Florida,” her follow up to that NBA-nominated work, Groff crafts some short stories (mostly) set in the Sunshine State.I’m impressed with a lot of these short stories; we’ve got snakes and storms and gators and swamps, and women and mothers inter...
  • 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...
  • Nate D
    After hearing Groff speak on this book and her working methods last night, then immediately reading the first three stories, I find myself reflecting on how better realist writing may sometimes implicitly incorporate as deep structure the mechanisms externalized in the more experimental writing I typically prefer. But this is already more interesting to me than typical realist writing -- elegant and apocalyptic, the best of these stories chart th...