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By Francine Prose
288 pages; Harper

One of the most moving poems in the English language, Gerard Manley Hopkins's "Spring and Fall: To a Young Child," is the elegiac undercurrent of Goldengrove (Harper), the latest novel by frequent O contributor Francine Prose. Her ungainly heroine is 13-year-old Nico, whose daring, beautiful sister Margaret drowns, leaving the family in ruins. Haunted by Margaret's memory, Nico, who has eerily begun to resemble her, is inexorably drawn to Margaret's unstable boyfriend, Aaron. An exploration of the fragility of adolescent identity and the perilous undertow of grief. — Cathleen Medwick


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