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September 4, 2007 Review

Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge, Consequences by Penelope Lively, Turquiouse Girl by Ella Clah

Reading Recommendations

September 4, 2007

Submitted by Nancy Bannister 

Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge 

Alice Kessler spent nine years in prison for the attempted murder of the drunk driver who killed her eldest son.  Now she has returned home to Gray’s Island to reconnect with the son she left behind.  Her boy, Jeremy, now an angry teenager, is falsely accused of rape, and so mother and son are united in a desperate attempt to prove his innocence.  At the same time, Alice must battle the man responsible for putting her behind bars, who has since become the mayor of her hometown.  She is aided by Colin McGinty, a recovering alcoholic and 9/11 widower , also recently returned to the island following the death of his grandfather, a famous artist best known for his haunting portrait entitled “Woman in Red”, which just so happens to be of Alice’s grandmother.  As Alice and Colin are drawn into a fragile romance of their own, the strange destiny that connects them gradually comes to light. 

In a tale that weaves the past with the present, we come to know the story behind the portrait of the forbidden wartime romance between William McGinty and Eleanor Styles, and the deadly secret that bound them more tightly than ever in their love for each other.  A secret that more than half a century later is about to be unburied. 

A real page turner. 

And, Consequences, a novel, Penelope Lively 

London, 1935:  A chance meeting on a park bench on the eve of World War ll sets in motion a love affair that reverberates through three generations.  Matt and Lorna are deeply, defiantly, in love, they marry, and Lorna is pregnant when Matt is called for duty.  But the war means Matt’s death in action; it cuts short his artist’s career and changes the course of Lorna’s life.  The war means that Lorna will marry again, and the Molly, their daughter, will grow up in a blasted landscape of bomb sites and boarded windows of households reconfigured by loss.  But a chance look at a forgotten newspaper on the London tube leads Molly in; to her first job, and into the life of James Portland, a wealthy man she cannot love, and the post war period gives way to an new eras, thirty years later, Ruth, Molly’s own daughter leaves her marriage for a journey that takes her back to 1941, to a new resolution of her own history and that of her family.   

A powerful story of growth, death and renewal and a study of a different time, it’s major and minor events, the shaping of consciousness and lives, and a reaffirmation of the force of connection between generations.   

And, Turquoise Girl, an Ella Clah novel, Aimee and David Thurlo 

Navajo Police Special Investigator Ella Clah is called in on the murder of Valerie Tso, who was drowned in her bath tub.  Not only is Valerie the daughter of Ella’s mother’s best friend, but she also is the mother of Boots, who takes care of Ella’s daughter after school.  Although Valerie was estranged from her family, Ella is determined to find her killer and quickly. 

A Bible verse on a scrap of paper left near the body reminds Ella of a case still in the FBE.  The long gap between killings suggests that the murderer has been in prison. 

And the story goes from there. 

See you at Rylander!

 

 

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