To me, to know an old school badass, is a blessing. I’ve been lucky enough to meet people who could be my (gran)parents, but were anyway so inspirative, funny and young in mind – just as Florence Gordon. Such relationships have changed a lot for me – from perspectives, to opinions; they are the same kind of fellowship as the one between the main characters of this book: Florence and her granddaughter Emily. Simply said, there are things we learn over a lifetime and there are lessons which can be avoided/sought thanks to the experiences of others.
There are four main characters in Florence Gordon – Florence herself, her son Daniel, her daughter-in-law Janine and their teenage daughter Emily. Chapters are surprisingly and nicely short, switching amongst characters and their points of view. This approach gave Florence Gordon an interesting insight into human points of view, their look at the reality of being.
As with every other book, even with Florence Gordon I couldn’t help myself and had a couple of expectations. One of them was to read about Florence’ part of making history, her active participation in feminist movement – well, there were some hints, information, but not as much as I wanted. I would trade it for the additional plot of Florence’ son Daniel and his wife Janine with their relationship issues. Not that it was boring or particularly annoying, only there were more remarkable relationships worth deeper elaboration, e.g. between Florence and her granddaughter Emily, or even between Florence and her own son. Another expectation was some main plot, what would center Florence’ last years as fighting feminist. Although I understand, that Brian probably wanted to point out changes and personal developments we all go through the years of our lives, I fear he missed the opportunity to make Florence even more remarkable. Instead, I was reading about some guy I had no interest in (Lev) and, for me, the kind of stereotypical drama going on in Florence’ family. What a pity.
Without giving away any spoilers, I would like to comment on book’s ending: ‘Whaaaaaat?!’ Sure, there are signs showing in what direction are upcoming years of Florence heading, but still! a) I wanted to know more, and b) It was way too quick for me – movie style. Another capture moving in years forward, leaving the main character remembering ol’ good times. That was slightly disappointing.
On the other hand, Florence Gordon is such an enjoyable character! Clearly, it could be better to read about her, than to meet someone with her manners and unapologetic attitude in person. Her inability (or lack of good will?) to give compliments, credits or at least recognition is astounding, as well as her scathing comments. Florence dislikes more things than she likes. But even so, I do not-so-secretly wish I am little bit like her, one day.