Monday, May 12, 2008

Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge

This was our book club pick for May. I actually did not vote for this one when we were voting on new choices and I thought the description of it sounded really depressing. So I was not actually looking forward to reading this one. However, this is a case of don't judge a book by its cover. I really enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

The book is about a woman, Alice, who spends nine years in prison for running over the drunk driver who killed one of her two sons. While in prison, her husband divorces her and eventually her son does not want to visit her anymore. She gets out and returns to the small town where she grew up. She tries to rebuild her life and get to know her son and family again despite the stigma of being an ex-con. She also meets a new man (Colin) who lost his wife in the 9/11 attacks and is just coming out a downward spiral himself. As if all of this is not difficult enough for her to deal with, her son is falsely accused of raping a girl and finds himself in trouble with the law. mother, like son?

See, I told you depressing, right? BUT, it turns out, it's not quite as depressing as it sounds. And there is a back story interspersed throughout the book about Alice's grandmother and Colin's grandfather. A love story. This book actually somewhat reminded me of a Jodi Picoult book without the extra legal thriller part of it. The whole book is about different relationships old and new. And in the end all the different threads come together. I absolutely loved the epilogue. I think Goudge did a great job writing this and keeping all the characters interesting with a solid story line. It's as long as it needs to be without anything extra. This is definitely not one I would have picked up at the bookstore, but I'm glad I had the chance to read it. And really I had a hard time putting it down!

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