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Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Author and essayist Francine Prose's novel Goldengrove will be a surprise to readers familiar with her famously razor-sharp dialogue and tough-love attitude towards her memorable characters. In this affecting coming-of-age novel, Prose introduces us to Nico, a chubby thirteen-year old girl who imagines nothing more than keeping her parents at arms length and hanging out with her older sister, Margaret and her charismatic boyfriend during the long summer break. Instead, Nico finds herself navigating the perilous course of mourning after her beloved sister drowns in the lake just beyond the family's home. With little support from her grief-stricken parents, she must come to terms with the tragedy largely on her own. Prose's ability to situate the adult reader within the heart and mind of young Nico is quite remarkable, and verges on the poetic. Goldengrove is a poignant story that prompts us to retrace those often long-forgotten, but monumental early steps towards acceptance and understanding. --Lauren Nemroff
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.)
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Been too long since I've read it but as I remember it is a good book. Seems as though I've read it twice.Published 8 months ago by Carol Dunson
This is the first book I have read by Francine Prose, but it won't be the last. I really enjoyed this story, and could not put this book down to go to sleep.Published 13 months ago by cmlk14
Audiobooks are hit and miss with me. The story could be the greatest one ever told, and still be ruined by the narrator. Read morePublished on September 11, 2012 by Pamelicious
I was really engrossed in the first half of this book. The last half was lacking in a way, but nonetheless, was found to be slightly disturbing as it developed.Published on June 24, 2011 by Zippee
This book puts feelings into words I didn't know existed. Prose is able to describe human emotion that made me yell a resounding "yes!" as I listened... Read morePublished on June 7, 2011 by Gracie A.
I started reading this book expecting a lot. I'll be honest, I read this because I wanted a good cry. I wanted to be emotionally connected to the characters. Read morePublished on May 6, 2011 by Sherry A Peschong
This book was rather boring; I kept waiting for something to happen (like a plot). I have no idea why this book was so highly touted. Read morePublished on February 17, 2011 by pelegoddess
This book takes a good look at surviving family members and provides some interesting points about grief and how people relate to one another and to the world during and post loss. Read morePublished on January 17, 2011 by AshnOK
This book is slow and meandering like a teenage phone call. Just right for a 14-year-old, but not for adults.Published on September 2, 2010 by William M. Doolittle Jr.