Florence Gordon by Brian Morton

Florence GordonSo far this year I have read only four 5-star books. Florence Gordon by Brian Morton is one of them. I was lucky enough to read this book in one sitting and I devoured it. 

What makes Florence Gordon so enjoyable is the character of Florence herself. To me she was a mix of my aunt, Elaine Stritch and a bit of Margaret Atwood. Not bad. She is strong, opinionated, quirky and fiercely independent. And perhaps a little outrageous, but that’s what makes her great.

The book explores her relationship with her family, who have suddenly descended on New York and her attempts to write her memoirs. In the course of the book she is catapulted to fame and it is interesting to see what fame does to someone of her age and standing.

Who would like this book? Florence Gordon (the character) is most well-known as a feminist, so the book will obviously appeal to those with a feminist inclination. But Florence Gordon is much more than that, it is a chronicle of the past 75 years and would likely appeal to people who lived through those times. It is also a wonderful portrayal of New York City.



  1. I think I remember that Shannon at River City Reading also loved the character of Florence – it’s nice to have it seconded by you! Sounds good! And, I’m glad you found yourself another 5-star read!

  2. Totally agree with you. I called Florence Gordon as a combination of two of my favorite literary characters, Olive Kitteridge and the poet Ruth from Louise Penny’s Three Pines. An excellent look at an early feminist through the eyes of a male writer.

  3. Recently read Etta and Otto and Russell and James which also has older woman catapulted suddenly to celebrity and loved the strength of the main character. This sounds good – am intrigued that while you make reference to Florence as feminist, it’s written by a man so now can’t make up my mind if I’d like this or not!

  4. Sounds like a good read. I’m always on the lookout for strong female protagonists where the book isn’t all about their dating life. Surprisingly hard to find, so thank you for the suggestion 🙂 -Tania

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