Florida by Lauren Groff review – rage and refusal as Earth reaps the whirlwind

Women fill with fury at waste, eco-apocalypse and the pressure to be flawless in a lyrical and oblique short story collection

Lauren Groff’s new story collection is a portrait not so much of a place as of a particular kind of feeling about a place, as experienced by a series of characters, some of whom seem to be the same woman. She is the mother of two sons, and – like Mathilde in Groff’s acclaimed 2015 novel Fates and Furies, named book of the year by both Amazon and Barack Obama – she is furious beyond all measure. Unlike Mathilde, though, she has children, which raises the stakes. Also unlike Mathilde, she has no name.

“I have somehow become a woman who yells,” the first story, “Ghosts and Empties”, begins, as the mother tries to keep a cap on her anger for the sake of her family. To keep ...