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Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Florida her first new book since her clear the ground triumph Fates and Furies ( Washington Post) is an electrifying, expanding read. Over a decade ago, Groff moved to her adopted home state of Florida. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida its landscape, climate, history and state of mind becomes their gravitational centre. Storms, snakes and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional and psychological nature. Groffs evocative storytelling and knife-sharp intelligence first transport the reader, then jolt us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, Groff pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury the moments that make us alive. Vigorous, startling, precise and moving, Florida is a magnificent achievement.
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