Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman
March 16, 2010 - Amy Phelps
A thriller with a gothic flair mixes with a story of mothers and daughters in Carol Goodman's "Arcadia Falls."
Meg Rosenthal takes a job at a boarding school founded by an artistic conclave after her husband's sudden death. The relationship with her teen daughter, Sally, is strained, and Meg needs a fresh start, emotionally and financially. Meg is also working on a thesis based on the school's founders, two artists and writers , Vera and Lily, who may have had a relationship, and is excited to possibly get her hands on the women's diaries, located at the school.
Meg finds the whole atmosphere of the school a bit weird, but begins life there at the school and her research. But during the school's First Night bonfire, one of the students, a hard-working studened named Isabel, falls off a cliff that Lily also perished on. With the local sheriff, whom Meg is attracted to, the two begin investigating a bit and Meg's research soon brings some facts to life, facts that are running parallel to events happening at the school now. Was Isabel's death a tragic accident or was it murder? For that matter, what about Lily's? Soon secrets worth killing for are coming out, and even mistaken identities. Will Meg uncover the truth before something happens to her or Sally?
This story of love, jealousy and murder works with its eerie backdrop to give the whole story a gothic overtone that will keep pages turning.
"Arcadia Falls" is published by Ballentine Books. It is $25 and 355 pages long.