Flora

Flora

By Gail Godwin

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Paperback, 9781620401224, 294pp.

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Description

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 a 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.



About the Author
Gail Godwin is the author of ten novels, three of which were nominated for National Book Awards. A Southern Family and Father Melancholy's Daughter were both NYT bestsellers and Main Selections of the Book of the Month Club. She has been translated into 12 languages. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and letters. She holds a doctorate in Modern Letters from the University of Iowa and has taught in the Iowa writers Workshop, Vassar and Columbia. A native of Asheville, N.C., she now lives in Woodstock, N.Y.