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Flora
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Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Gail Godwin's penetrating and haunting narrative about intimacy and loss and remorse, set against a background of world-changing events

About the Author

Gail Godwin is a three-time National Book Award finalist and the bestselling author of thirteen critically acclaimed novels, including Violet Clay, Father Melancholy's Daughter, Evensong, The Good Husband and Evenings at Five. She is also the author of Heart and The Making of a Writer, her journal in two volumes. 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

Reviews

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 *
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 *
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 *
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 *

Ten-year-old Helen is a precocious, imaginative child who must spend the summer with her guardian, Flora, while her father is in Oak Ridge, TN, during the last months of World War II. Helen is a "haunted little girl" who lost her mother at age three and whose grandmother, who raised her, has just died. She and her late mother's cousin, 22-year-old Flora, are isolated in Helen's family house on a mountaintop, quarantined from the polio that threatens their community. Helen is resentful of her caretaker, Flora, who cries easily and appears to Helen to be unsophisticated. But Flora is singled-minded in her attempts to do right by Helen. The aftermath of that formative summer will steer the course of Helen's life and haunt her forever. VERDICT A superbly crafted, stunning novel by three-time National Book Award award finalist Godwin (A Mother and Two Daughters), this is an unforgettable, heartbreaking tale of disappointment, love, and tragedy. Highly recommended.-Lisa Block, Atlanta (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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