Book clubs, take note! Reviewers are giving Gail Godwin's latest, FLORA, high praise. Here's a quick summary to get you familiar:
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 during the final months of World War II. At three, Helen lost her mother, and the beloved grandmother who raised her has just died. Flora, who cries at the drop of a hat, is ardently determined to do her best for Helen. Their relationship and its fallout will haunt Helen for the rest of her life.
"Unsparing yet compassioante; a fine addition to Godwin's long list of first-rate faction bringing 19th-century richness of detail and characterization to the ambiguities of modern life." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"[A] stirring and wondrous novel from Godwin…. [her] thoughtful portrayal of their boredom, desires, and the eventual heartbreak of their summer underscores the impossible position of children, who are powerless against the world and yet inherit responsibility for its agonies." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Godwin’s under-your-skin characters are perfectly realized, and the held-breath plot is consummately choreographed. But 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 (starred review)
FLORA was also on the May 2013 Indie Next List!
FLORA by Gail Godwin.Poignant story of loss of innocence in 1940s North Carolina mountains. #ewgc
— Janet Lockhart (@HartGami) May 7, 2013