I love coming of age stories, so when I heard about Goldengrove, I could not wait to read it. Francine Prose is also an author who is new to me, and I am always anxious to try new authors.
Goldengrove begins at a lake with two sisters, Nico and Margaret out in a row boat. The first few pages give the reader some foreshadowing with what is about to happen. The older sister Margaret who is in high school, dives into the lake and drowns. Nico, age 13 is left to narrates Goldengrove, this coming of age story, by sharing with the reader the events that transpired one tragic summer. As Nico's parents begin to grow apart after the tragedy, Nico is sad, confused, and soon she is sought out by her dead sister's boyfriend, Aaron, who is also mourning the loss of Margaret.
While the writing is just beautiful in this book, and I enjoyed the story a lot, I have a few complaints. The tragedy happens right away, but the story took a while to get going. Because the writing was so beautiful, this was only a minor complaint. The bigger issue for me was that the narrator, 13-y/old Nico, never sounded like a 13-y/old. This was unfortunate! For example, on page 42, Nico says: " every empty second was an invitation to gaze into the abyss and think how sweet it would be to jump". ---This was just one of many age-inappropriate examples.
Despite this, I am happy that I read this book, and I hope to read more books by this author.
RATING - 4/5 - COMPLETED - 10/7/08