Coming-of-age stories make great choices for book discussions, and Lauren Groff’s “Arcadia” is no exception. The reader nominating this title for One Read explains, “This book follows a ‘hippie’ child from his utopian commune upbringing until his adulthood in New York. It is relevant right now because as he grows up, global climate change becomes a reality and the consequences are frightening and make for fascinating reading.” Groff’s lyrical, beautiful prose and richly detailed storytelling earned this title many starred reviews.
We received two nominations for “The Cat’s Table” by Michael Ondaatje. One nominator shared her writing group’s fondness for this “beautiful and poetic” novel: “Universally, they loved the book, language and fascinating storyline.”
Ondaatje, author of the critically acclaimed “The English Patient,” tells the story of 11-year-old Colombo who boards a ship bound for England in the early 1950s. Looking back from adulthood, the narrator relates a tale about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a sea voyage. Another nominator wrote, “There is much to discuss in this book: coming-of-age, loss of innocence, childhood experiences and their effects on an adult’s identity. Plus, an ocean journey!”
See other readers’ nominations for One Read 2013.