Happy Bookers Discussion Group



Next meeting: Wednesday, November 19
at 7:00 p.m.

Arcadia

by Lauren Groff

Bit Stone was born in the early 1960s to a devoted couple living in a secluded hippie commune in western New York. His parents, Hannah and Abe, are at the center of the loose Arcadia administration whose acknowledged leader, Handy, increasingly butts heads with Abe. It is no surprise that as the population of Arcadia grows and drugs become more prevalent, the community falls apart. Bit and the other core members go out into the real world with a wildly fluctuating level of success.

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Discussion Questions

 Thinking of Arcadia at its best moments, which of its values and tenets seem healthy and important for an individual? For a social group?

What are the potential threats --- from within the organization and without --- to such a communal social structure? How might these be guarded against or managed?

As a young man, Bit quotes George Eliot’s statement “That by desiring what is perfectly good, even when we don’t quite know what it is…we are part of the divine power against evil” (121). Where can you find examples of this being put into action in the novel?

Verda plays a significant role in Bit’s life, first as the seeming focus of his Quest, as the old, magical witch in the woods who might give the “curse or antidote” to help his mother (68). Soon, though, she becomes someone Bit visits and needs in a more realistic way. What does she offer him that is so valuable? In what ways is she different from many of the women in the novel?

Questions excerpted from ReadingGroupGuides

Links:

Author website

Wild Side of Life (Growing Up in a Hippie Commune

The Farm (official website)

 Upcoming Selections:

Watch for our 2015 selections

Happy Bookers selections are chosen by the participants.  Suggest a book for discussion

The Happy Bookers is Phillipsburg Library's monthly book discussion group.  We meet on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.  Newcomers are always welcome, and no registration is necessary.  Call Deb at 908-454-3712 for more information.

Can't make the meeting? Visit our Happy Bookers Group on Goodreads and add your thoughts there!