Flora by Gail Godwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Flora is a beautifully written, Southern, coming of age story. Ten year old Helen's father is leaving for the summer to work on the Manhatten Project. He hires Flora, his late wife's cousin, to take care of Helen in their isolated, crumbling, old house. A polio scare keeps the two quarantined together with little outside contact with others, except a grocery delivery man, house cleaner, and priest.
Helen is at the age of self discovery where children become aware that they are not the center of the universe and that their notions about adults are not always accurate. It is often a painful time of life and Flora is the uncertain adult that has been placed in position to guide Helen through the turmoil.
This sometimes dark book held me in thrall and I found it difficult to put down. It is definitely a book I can recommend.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.