Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Woman in Red - Eileen Goudge

Woman in Red
Eileen Goudge
Vanguard Press

Women’s Fiction

Nine years ago, Alice Kessler watched helplessly as her young son died in the middle of the street, a victim of a hit-and-run driver. Hours later, the police found the driver, Owen White, the wealthy son of a prominent Grays Island family. Alice maintains that Owen was speeding and drunk; Owen claims the child shot into the street in front of him before he could stop. In the end, the police believe Owen and rule the death an accident. But Alice can’t let go. She files a wrongful death suit against Owen. She’s so positive that she’ll win, she insists that her surviving son, seven-year-old Jeremy, be present in court for the verdict.

When the verdict goes against her, Alice is lost. With her young son in the passenger seat next to her, Alice spots Owen in the parking lot. She jams her foot down on the accelerator and aims the car at Owen, oblivious to her son’s terror. Alice is sent to jail.

After her release, Alice home, hoping to reconcile with Jeremy and attempt to heal the breach between them. Long since divorced, Alice is alone in the small community. Arriving on the same ferry is Colin McGanty, whose grandfather willed him a house and property on Grays Island. Colin needs a place to heal. He once made his living as a D.A. in Manhattan, then he lost his wife in the attack of 9/11 and turned to the bottle. He remembers his grandfather’s home fondly from summer visits.

A painting comes with the house: Woman in Red. A little digging into local history turns up the information that the woman was Alice’s grandmother; that she and Colin’s grandfather knew each other during the days of World War II. Moving from the present to the past and back again, this is a lovely story of how small events ripple outward and how redemption is almost always possible if you’re willing to try.

Rating: 7 ½
June 2007
ISBN# 978-159315-444-8 (hardcover)


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