Florida by Lauren Groff


Storms, snakes, sinkholes, and secrets: In Lauren Groff’s Florida, the hot sun shines, but a wild darkness lurks. 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 deraile...

Details Florida

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

Reviews Florida

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
    2.5, maybe? Apparently, 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 st...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    I loved some of these stories more than others but I loved them all.
  • 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!
  • Ellen
    I had already read a few of these stories, previously published in The New Yorker, and was delighted to revisit them. Lauren Groff has an altogether unique writing style, and I am warming to it more with each book she publishes. I enjoyed the unusual Arcadia and was even more transported by her dazzling and singular Fates and Furies. This new collection of stories has all her gifted and intriguing lyricism: poetic language, brilliant and unexpect...
  • Matthew
    4.5 stars.Perhaps Lauren Groff has found her calling. This is not to discount her previous long-form accomplishments – regardless of my wavering opinion of them – as it’s clear Groff has cemented herself as a writer to watch. But if Florida, the best-selling novelist’s latest short story collection, proved anything to me it’s that she’s firmly within her element when crafting short-form fiction. My first experience with Groff was in r...
  • Paige
    In my heart of hearts this might be a four star experience, but the midnight zone is just *so good* and I’ve read so many substandard collections lately that it’s refreshing to be reminded that Lauren Groff really is operating at the top of her game
  • Thekelburrows
    Kind of hit-or-miss for me but dang Lauren Groff is crazy talented and I'm pretty sure we are destined to be best friends some day.
  • Monika
    Lauren Groff is a gorgeous writer. I've seen comparisons made to Roxane Gay's style in Difficult Women, and I wholeheartedly agree. I think the first half was much stronger, but over all this was a solid collection.
  • Lisa
    Absolutely gorgeous writing with an incredible sense of place. I adored Arcadia, and this is even better.
  • Amena
    Let the language of Lauren Groff flow over you. With stunning descriptions touching on real life issues such as racism and pollution, this collection of short stories is incredible. The writing is just so precise and spot on. Groff writes about the side of Florida which tourists miss and don't see. We get hints of global warming running through the stories as well as a sense of desperation and such loneliness amongst the characters. Her way of wr...
  • Tyler
    Such an impressive collection of stories. Within these pages you feel the weight of Floridian humidity, sweat dripping down skin, the smell of bodies in the dense heat, the rustle of breezes through the overgrown fauna.These are stories which are attracted to, and also repelled by Florida. Love hand in hand with loathing. The strange, almost mystical gravitational pull of Florida keeps these characters in its orbit.1000% would recommend picking t...
  • 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...
  • Jillian Doherty
    The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries - each feeling like its own full narrative instead of individual stories (there are wonderful links between them too).Florida is at the heart of this book but the characters and story spans the country and world with its rich characters, climate, history, and state of mind! If you love rich, literary, and atmospheric writing then you'll love this too. (I'm not always a...
  • Rachel Watkins
    Lauren Groff's collection of short stories have an underlying character (the place that is Florida) and a lurking theme: what society says mothers should be. There is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction, danger, and oppressive humidity in these stories, yet they celebrate the strength and resilience of women most often undervalued by our culture. I dare you to read this without underlining brilliant passages.