Flora: A Novel
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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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - csayban - LibraryThing
Where do I begin with Flora? A coming-of-age story where the protagonist (Helen, not Flora) never comes of age. A spoiled, arrogant, snobbish bore of a girl who spends her entire 1945 summer believing ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - pennsylady - LibraryThing
The story of Helen (age 10) and summer guardian, Flora (age 22) during the final months of WW2. The story takes place in a rambling, decaying house that was once a sanatorium for folks she calls the ... Read full review