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Ten-year-old Helen and her summer guardian, Flora, are isolated together in Helen's decaying family house while her father is doing secret war work in Oak Ridge during the final months of the Second World War. At three Helen lost her mother and the beloved grandmother who raised her has just died. A fiercely imaginative child, Helen is desperate to keep her house intact with all its ghosts and stories. Flora, her late mother's twenty-two-year old first cousin, who cries at the drop of a hat, is ardently determined to do her best for Helen. Their relationship and its fallout, played against a backdrop of a lost America will haunt Helen for the rest of her life.In this, Gail Godwin's fourteenth novel, she evokes shades of The Turn of the Screw as she explores the inequality of relationships between adults and children in a taut, subtle and moving tale of love, regret, and the things we can't undo.

Flora - Gail Godwin

9781408840863
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Title
Flora
Author
Gail Godwin
format
Hardback
Publisher
Bloomsbury
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20130704

Ten-year-old Helen and her summer guardian, Flora, are isolated together in Helen's decaying family house while her father is doing secret war work in Oak Ridge during the final months of the Second World War. At three Helen lost her mother and the beloved grandmother who raised her has just died. A fiercely imaginative child, Helen is desperate to keep her house intact with all its ghosts and stories. Flora, her late mother's twenty-two-year old first cousin, who cries at the drop of a hat, is ardently determined to do her best for Helen. Their relationship and its fallout, played against a backdrop of a lost America will haunt Helen for the rest of her life.In this, Gail Godwin's fourteenth novel, she evokes shades of The Turn of the Screw as she explores the inequality of relationships between adults and children in a taut, subtle and moving tale of love, regret, and the things we can't undo.

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Gail Godwin is a three-time National Book Award finalist and the bestselling author of twelve critically acclaimed novels, including Violet Clay, Father Melancholy's Daughter, Evensong, The Good Husband and Evenings at Five. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer, her journal in two volumes (ed. Rob Neufeld). She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants for both fiction and libretto writing, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Gail Godwin lives in Woodstock, New York.Visit her website at www.gailgodwin.com

If it reminds me of any other novel it's actually Atonement, but, dare I say it, Flora is a sharper, clearer portrait of a life lived remorsefully
Observer

I've long thought of Gail Godwin as a present-day George Eliot - our keenest observer of lifelong, tragically unwitting decisions.
Flora is also a novel as word-perfect and taut as an Alice Munro short story; like Munro, Godwin has flawlessly depicted the kind of fatalistic situation we can encounter in our youth - one that utterly robs us of our childhood and steers the course for our adult lives. This is a luminously written, heartbreaking book
John Irving

Flora is a beautiful examination of character and the far reaching repercussions of our actions. Gail Godwin brings grace, honesty, and enormous intelligence to every page
Ann Patchett

It's a mark of Ms. Godwin's light, sure touch that this doesn't feel contrived
International Herald Tribune

The perfect summer read can come in unexpected guises. This inquiry into the strange energies of youth is refreshing. Dive into its deep waters and witness a novelist at the peak of her powers swimming against the current of today's fiction
The Times - Melissa Katsoulis

Perfect summer evening: a garden, a glass of wine, and a novel like this one, both highly intelligent and thoroughly engaging ... Just lie back in the deckchair and enjoy Godwin's wisdom
Saga - Kate Saunders

Compelling ... Flora is narrated by Helen as an adult, with all the benefits of hindsight, which, in Godwin's expert hands, proves a neat way into a thoughtful study of the haunting nature of remorse
Sunday Times - Francesca Angelini

The wonder of this incisive novel of the endless repercussions of loss and remorse at the dawn of the atomic age is how subtly Godwin laces it with exquisite insights into secret family traumas, unspoken sexuality, class and racial divides, and the fallout of war while unveiling the incubating mind of a future writer
Booklist

Unsparing yet compassionate; a fine addition to Godwin's long list of first-rate fiction bringing 19th-century richness of detail and characterization to the ambiguities of modern life
Kirkus Reviews

Godwin writes so well we can see with great clarity what she wants us to see
Irish Examiner

Type
BOOK
Edition
Hardback original
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
278

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