- Fizzy Thoughts: Woman in Red - another review, another giveaway

Woman in Red - another review, another giveaway

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Eileen Goudge
May 2008
352 pages

I already bitched about the cover art here. Despite that, I really enjoyed this book. Although I was all prepared not to. In fact, I'm still not sure why I even bought it. Oh wait, it's because every time I went into Borders it was sitting on the display table. So thanks Borders-employee-in-charge-of-display-tables. Good choice. You really know how to suck me into buying a book.

The reason I kept not buying this book is because of the main character, Alice. Alice spent 9 years in jail for the attempted murder of the drunk driver who killed her son. I wasn't sure I wanted to read about an emotionally unstable, vindictive woman. But that's not the focus of the story. In fact, this book has a lot going on.

First, there are the characters. There's Alice, who is returning home from her time in jail, determined to rebuild her life and re-connect with her teenage son; Colin, a recovering alcoholic who returns to the island to claim an inheritance (a house left to him by his grandfather, the famous painter William McGinty); Jeremy, Alice's son, who is accused of rape; Owen, the drunk driver who is now mayor of the town; and Alice's sister, who has her own family and political issues keeping her busy.

There are also the characters from the past, for the book delves back in time to relate the story of the Woman in Red, one of William McGinty's more well-known paintings. The subject, Eleanor, was Alice's grandmother. The scenes from the past touch on World War II and the Japanese internment, as well as friendship, marriage, love and loyalty. I really enjoyed Eleanor's and William's stories. Without their stories interwoven into the book, I wouldn't have like the book as much as I did.

Then there is the setting. The book is set on an island off the coast of Washington. I love Washington. Especially if it involves small towns on islands and lots of trees...my kind of place. Just like with The Way Life Should Be, I was all set to move by the end of the book. Except I don't think the water is warm enough for Hamburger to surf up there. Curses, foiled again.

I can't talk too much about the stories (Alice's, Jeremy's, Colin's, William's, Eleanor's...) without giving it all away. Not that anything earth shaking happens, but it's interesting to watch the stories unfold, and see the characters develop. Honestly, I didn't have a lot of hope for any of them at the beginning of the book.

Once again, I'm giving this book away. It's currently sitting on the floor of the closet in our office (because I have no space on the bookshelves!), and that's no life for a book. So leave a comment, and just like with that other book I'm giving away, I'll draw a name on Friday.

7 comment(s):

chartroose said...

Hey, this sounds pretty good! Who would'a thunk it? It'll go on my TBR list.

A giveaway? Jeez, I go out of town for a few days and see what happens--everything gets away from me!

BTW--I like your new page. You can borrow surfer dude if you want to.

anne said...

Cool new header and title!

I was also turned off by the cover of this book...go figure it would turn out to be good. Actually I thought about choosing this in the last contest, but I Capture the Castle won me over.

bethany said...

great review..i know what you mean by staying away from books because you fear where they would take you emotionally. This one sounds like a good one though!!

Count me in for the giveaway, pretty please?

girasoli said...

I read one of her books (can't remember the name) years ago and really enjoyed it. Funny how a bookstore can suck you right into buying a book.

Smilingsal said...

You got my interest. Please consider my name and thank you.

gautami tripathy said...

So consider me in! Apart from the cover, it sounds good to me!


bkclubcare said...

You crack me up >>that's no life for a book<<

Book Rescuer, are you? This looks good. I can always tell when I'm in a lull for reading - my tbr grows at an astonishing rate.

Did I miss the giveaway? no biggie, if I did.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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