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Flora: A Novel | [Gail Godwin]

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 audiobook 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.

©2013 Gail Godwin (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (20 )
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3.7 (18 )
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4.0 (16 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D mcr 04-26-14
    D mcr 04-26-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    Story
    "A Summer in the life of a ten year old girl"
    What did you love best about Flora?

    Self-centered, often unkind Helen we learn has inherited some of her least nice traits. Her summer caretaker, cousin Flora, contrasts those traits. The story flows so believably and easily through the eyes of the child and enhanced by the reminiscence of the adult remembering the child of that summer. Suzanne Toren has so well captured the petulance of Helen as well as the gentleness of Flora.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michele Lancaster, OH, United States 06-27-15
    michele Lancaster, OH, United States 06-27-15 Member Since 2013

    I am a working mom who loves to squeeze in listening to books while walking, doing chores or commuting.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    Story
    "Coming of age during final days of WWII"
    Would you listen to Flora again? Why?

    Yes, it is a rare audio book that I would listen to again. It has flavors of "To Kill a Mockingbird."


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Flora?

    I enjoyed the summer routines.


    Which character – as performed by Suzanne Toren – was your favorite?

    Flora was a simple but decent character and I would rate her as my favorite.


    Who was the most memorable character of Flora and why?

    Frankie narrates the book and it is easy to relate to her situation during the war times.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a good wholesome novel. No sex, minimal profanity and overall a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra J OConnor 03-29-15 Member Since 2015

    I love books, writing, writers....these are my favorite things. I never have to stop learning! Have a lot to learn still.

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    "One of the few books about "real people."

    This story is set at the end of WWII, but the timing could have been many times. The people in the story are real with all of their wonder and flaws. I laughed, was angry, and cried. The book talks about true remorse and this hit me the most in a time of self love and telling ourselves that we have no fault in anything. This is not done in a preachy way and I cared about all the people. I look forward to reading more. of this author. The audible was marvelous and I got completely lost in the story. A great read in a genre that is almost extinct.
    I

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tunie S. 02-26-15
    Tunie S. 02-26-15
    ratings
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    3
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    Overall
    "Good read"

    It was a good read. But at times it kinda drag on and on. It's not one I would read again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RueRue 03-16-14
    RueRue 03-16-14

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, wrong narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I really enjoyed the story and would recommend on that basis. However, Suzanne Toran's narration struck the wrong note for me. For a story told from the perspective of a "10 going on 11" year old girl, the narrator sounded much too old. Also, her reading voice was a bit lethargic and distrusted the momentum of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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