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From the New York Times bestselling author and one of the most compelling and insightful writers of contemporary fiction comes a powerful story about love and redemption, and what one woman will do to overcome the personal tragedy that has stripped her of all she held dear. 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.
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Eileen Goudge is the New York Times bestselling author whose novels include Domestic Affairs, 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 with her husband, entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon, in New York CityFrom 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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