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Alice Kessler spent nine years in prison for the attempted murder of the drunk driver who killed her son. Now she’s returned home to Gray’s Island to reconnect with the son she left behind. Her boy, Jeremy, now a sullen teenager, is wrongly accused of rape, and mother and son are thrown together in a desperate attempt to prove his innocence. She’s aided by Colin McGinty, a recovering alcoholic and 9/11 widower, also recently returned to the island in the aftermath of his grandfather’s death. Colin’s grandfather, a famous artist, is best known for his haunting portrait, Woman in Red,” which happens to be of Alice’s grandmother. 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 even their love for each other. A secret that, more than half a century later, is about to be unburied, as Alice and Colin are drawn into a fragile romance of their own and the ghost of an enemy from long ago surfaces in the form of his grandson, the very man responsible for sending Alice to prison.
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Eileen Goudge is the New York Times bestselling author whose novels include One Last Dance, Garden of Lies, and Thorns of Truth. There are more than three million copies of her books in print worldwide. She lives in New York City with her husband, entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon.From Publishers Weekly:
In this page-turning novel, Alice Kessler, the married mother of two sons, is living on the fictional Grays Island, in the Pacific Northwest, when her eight-year-old son is run over while riding his bike. Alice is convinced the driver, Owen White, was drunk—though her husband, Randy, is not. Neither is the court system. So, on the day Alice loses her wrongful death lawsuit, she runs Owen down in the courthouse parking lot, crippling but not killing him. Alice serves nine years and returns to the island near-broke and hoping to reunite with her surviving son, Jeremy, now 16. (Her husband, Randy, has divorced her.) At the same time, Colin McGinty, an ex-Manhattan prosecutor, has returned to his dead artist grandfather's island house after losing his wife in 9/11. Alice and Colin's fates become bound with a little help from Colin's inherited border collie and, more concretely, a portrait of Alice's grandmother. Cutting between WWII-era depictions of the lives of Colin's and Alice's grandparents and the melodramatic present (including Alice's son being accused of rape and Owen White's machinations as island mayor), haute-romance veteran Goudge (Immediate Family; Wish Come True; etc.) unspools a predictable yet satisfying tale of survival and redemption. (June)
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