Book Review: Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman

In debt after her husband's unexpected death, Meg Rosenthal secures a job as a teacher at an upstate new York boarding school.  Leaving suburban Long Island, Meg and her teenage daughter, Sally, embark on a new life in Arcadia Falls, a beautiful but isolated small town and the inspiration for a number of magically eerie fairy tales.  With a hurtful rift growing between her and her daughter, Meg is hopeful that the change of scene will provide them with a fresh start.  But it soon becomes clear to Meg that this isolated community hides deeply rooted and deadly secrets.  And after a mysterious death, Arcadia Falls begins to reveal a disturbing dark side.
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Release Date:  March 9, 2010
Pages:  384

I started Arcadia Falls one day when I went home sick from work.  I've alluded to this on the blog, but the real reason I don't read stories about ghosts (except for Stacey Kade's The Ghost and the Goth) is because I read Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn as a child and still get goosebumps thinking about it.  My mom had to sleep in my room for weeks and weeks after I read that story, and then my sister found out how much it scared me and teased me about it endlessly.   Just looking up the link on Goodreads just now got me all freaked out---not a good thing when it's raining and I'm home alone.

So, anyway, I don't like stories about ghosts who haunt people, especially scary, mean, or little kid ghosts.  When I got about 100 pages in to Arcadia Falls, I started to get that creepy feeling.  Meg, the main character, sees glimpses of a white dress, like a ghost girl, in the forest and then learns that a woman died in the forest about sixty years ago.  The people of Arcadia Falls believe that she haunts the forest now.  That, along with the dark, almost gothic feel to the book, and Meg's focus on dark fairy tales, left me feeling so unsettled that I reminded myself that reading is supposed to be fun and decided to give up on this one.  I can tell that Arcadia Falls is a well-written, absorbing story, but I got too freaked out and had to stop.


Did Not Finish (for personal reasons)


  1. Thanks for your honest opinion! I personally love books about ghosts and scary things, so I will probably like this one.

    Soory about your experience as a child. :( I know how things from your childhood stick with you. My aunt watched Chuckie in front of me as a kid, and now I can't stand red headed dolls! lol

  2. I really like the cover. Hmm maybe I'll take the challenge and finish it for you. I love to be spooked but if I feel to scared... well I'll just sleep with the lights ON!

  3. Sorry it wasn't for you, but it actually sounds perfect for me lol....gonna go add it to my wishlist now =)


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