Flora: A Novel

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing USA, May 7, 2013 - Fiction - 278 pages
17 Reviews
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 World War II.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.

This darkly beautiful novel about a child and a caretaker in isolation evokes shades of The Turn of the Screw and also harks back to Godwin's memorable novel of growing up, The Finishing School. With its house on top of a mountain and a child who may be a bomb that will one day go off, Flora tells a story of love, regret, and the things we can't undo.It will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
  

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Terrific writing throughout. - Goodreads
There's precious little plot. - Goodreads
We don't see her growing up to become that writer. - Goodreads

Review: Flora

User Review  - Maya Panika - Goodreads

It is 1945, and Helen, a spoiled, selfish, self-centred, snobbish, deeply unpleasant ten year old girl is forced to spend her summer at home, trapped by an outbreak of polio. Her father is away ... Read full review

Review: Flora

User Review  - Gary the Bookworm - Goodreads

There are things we can't undo, but perhaps there is a kind of constructive remorse that could transform regrettable acts into something of service to life. This is the opening sentence in Flora, Gail ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
8
Section 3
17
Section 4
25
Section 5
31
Section 6
39
Section 7
46
Section 8
55
Section 19
144
Section 20
152
Section 21
161
Section 22
164
Section 23
169
Section 24
179
Section 25
181
Section 26
193

Section 9
65
Section 10
72
Section 11
79
Section 12
91
Section 13
98
Section 14
108
Section 15
110
Section 16
123
Section 17
133
Section 18
142
Section 27
202
Section 28
210
Section 29
221
Section 30
232
Section 31
247
Section 32
257
Section 33
261
Section 34
273
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Gail Godwin is a three-time National Book Award finalist and the bestselling author of twelve critically acclaimed novels, including A Mother and Two Daughters, The Good Husband, Father Melancholy's Daughter, and Evensong. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer: Journals, 1961--1963, the first of two volumes, edited by 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. She lives in Woodstock, New York. Visit her website at www.gailgodwin.com.

Bibliographic information