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Goldengrove: A Novel

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Goldengrove: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780066214115
ISBN10: 0066214114
Condition: Standard
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Staff Pick

I normally prefer Francine Prose's nonfiction, but Goldengrove is an irresistible novel. A lyrical, character-driven meditation on grief, it is also a timeless coming-of-age story that's impossible to put down.
Recommended by Tessa, Powells.com

The death of her teenage sister sends 13-year-old Nico, along with her parents, into a gigantic tailspin. All three are shocked into immobility and pain, and turn to dangerous diversions. Nico finds herself submitting uncomfortably to the strange requests of her sister's boyfriend. Francine Prose is a writer of epic proportions, and she turns this seemingly depressing story into an exquisite, spare, quiet coming-of-age tale that will stay with you.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the center of Francine Prose's profoundly moving new novel is a young girl facing the consequences of sudden loss after the death of her sister. As her parents drift toward their own risky consolations, thirteen-year-old Nico is left alone to grope toward understanding and clarity, falling into a seductive, dangerous relationship with her sister's enigmatic boyfriend.

Over one haunted summer, Nico must face that life-changing moment when children realize their parents can no longer help them. She learns about the power of art, of time and place, the mystery of loss and recovery. But for all the darkness at the novel's heart, the narrative itself is radiant with the lightness of summer and charged by the restless sexual tension of teenage life.

Goldengrove takes its place among the great novels of adolescence, beside Henry James's The Awkward Age and L. P. Hartley's The Go-Between.

Review:

"In Prose's deeply touching and absorbing 15th novel, narrator Nico, 13, comes upon Gerard Manley Hopkins's 'Spring and Fall' (which opens 'Margaret, are you grieving/ Over Goldengrove unleaving?') in her father's upstate New York bookstore, also named Goldengrove. It's the summer after her adored older sister, Margaret — possessed of beauty, a lovely singing voice and a poetic nature — casually dove from a rowboat in a nearby lake and drowned. In emotive detail, Nico relates the subsequent events of that summer. Nico was a willing confidant and decoy in Margaret's clandestine romance with a high school classmate, Aaron, and Nico now finds that she and Aaron are drawn to each other in their mutual bereavement. Unhinged by grief, Nico's parents are distracted and careless in their oversight of Nico, and Nico is deep in perilous waters before she realizes that she is out of her depth. Prose eschews her familiar satiric mode. She fluidly maintains Nico's tender insights into the human condition as Nico comes to discover her own way of growing up and moving on. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Fans of Francine Prose' satire will need a few moments to reorient themselves in the pages of this doleful novel about the death of a much-loved teenage girl. With "Goldengrove," the author who has so brilliantly taken on political correctness, New Age feminism, Columbine and even Elie Wiesel sheathes her acerbic wit for a searching, painful story about one family's grief.

Novels... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Marshaling magnetic characters, hidden history, suspense, and acute insight into the transmutation of anguish into compassion, Prose plunges through the scrim of melodrama to reach the realm of myth, in a ravishing novel of the mystery of death and life's assertion." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"As a lucid and moving chronicle of growing up baffled and challenged, this novel is energized by a thoughtful quality of impertinent wit that sometimes recalls J. D. Salinger in his heyday..." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[T]his highly accessible novel, lightened with wry humor, is an insightful examination of the various ways people use imagination and memory to cope with devastating loss." Library Journal

Synopsis:

The New York Times-bestselling author of Reading Like a Writer returns with an emotionally powerful novel about love and loss filled with echoes of the classics Vertigo and Pygmalion.

Synopsis:

Goldengrove is an emotionally powerful novel about adolescent love and loss from Francine Prose, the New York Times bestselling author of Reading Like a Writer and A Changed Man. Focusing on a young girl facing the consequences of sudden loss after the death of her sister, this masterful coming-of-age work is radiant with the possibility of summer and charged by the restless sexual tension of teenage life.

About the Author

Francine Prose is the author of fifteen books of fiction, including A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the nonfiction New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. She is the president of PEN American Center. She lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Tracy Bock, September 26, 2008 (view all comments by Tracy Bock)
A unforgettable coming- of-age story, full of rich characterization. You will keep this on your bookshelf for years to come. Nico is a memorable character who will steal a piece of your heart.
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(42 of 59 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780066214115
Author:
Prose, Francine
Publisher:
HarperTorch
Author:
by Francine Prose
Author:
by Francine Prose
Author:
Cummings, Pat
Author:
Caines, Jeannette
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
General
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Ethnic - African American
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
September 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from PreS to 1
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 7.875 x 0.08 in 3.68 oz
Age Level:
from 3 to 6

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Goldengrove: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Harper - English 9780066214115 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

I normally prefer Francine Prose's nonfiction, but Goldengrove is an irresistible novel. A lyrical, character-driven meditation on grief, it is also a timeless coming-of-age story that's impossible to put down.

"Staff Pick" by ,

The death of her teenage sister sends 13-year-old Nico, along with her parents, into a gigantic tailspin. All three are shocked into immobility and pain, and turn to dangerous diversions. Nico finds herself submitting uncomfortably to the strange requests of her sister's boyfriend. Francine Prose is a writer of epic proportions, and she turns this seemingly depressing story into an exquisite, spare, quiet coming-of-age tale that will stay with you.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Prose's deeply touching and absorbing 15th novel, narrator Nico, 13, comes upon Gerard Manley Hopkins's 'Spring and Fall' (which opens 'Margaret, are you grieving/ Over Goldengrove unleaving?') in her father's upstate New York bookstore, also named Goldengrove. It's the summer after her adored older sister, Margaret — possessed of beauty, a lovely singing voice and a poetic nature — casually dove from a rowboat in a nearby lake and drowned. In emotive detail, Nico relates the subsequent events of that summer. Nico was a willing confidant and decoy in Margaret's clandestine romance with a high school classmate, Aaron, and Nico now finds that she and Aaron are drawn to each other in their mutual bereavement. Unhinged by grief, Nico's parents are distracted and careless in their oversight of Nico, and Nico is deep in perilous waters before she realizes that she is out of her depth. Prose eschews her familiar satiric mode. She fluidly maintains Nico's tender insights into the human condition as Nico comes to discover her own way of growing up and moving on. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Marshaling magnetic characters, hidden history, suspense, and acute insight into the transmutation of anguish into compassion, Prose plunges through the scrim of melodrama to reach the realm of myth, in a ravishing novel of the mystery of death and life's assertion."
"Review" by , "As a lucid and moving chronicle of growing up baffled and challenged, this novel is energized by a thoughtful quality of impertinent wit that sometimes recalls J. D. Salinger in his heyday..."
"Review" by , "[T]his highly accessible novel, lightened with wry humor, is an insightful examination of the various ways people use imagination and memory to cope with devastating loss."
"Synopsis" by , The New York Times-bestselling author of Reading Like a Writer returns with an emotionally powerful novel about love and loss filled with echoes of the classics Vertigo and Pygmalion.
"Synopsis" by , Goldengrove is an emotionally powerful novel about adolescent love and loss from Francine Prose, the New York Times bestselling author of Reading Like a Writer and A Changed Man. Focusing on a young girl facing the consequences of sudden loss after the death of her sister, this masterful coming-of-age work is radiant with the possibility of summer and charged by the restless sexual tension of teenage life.
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