• by Gail Godwin
  • Narrated by Suzanne Toren
  • 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Debra J OConnor

Good read

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

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-19-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury