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Woman in Red

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,372 Ratings  ·  222 Reviews

Colin McGinty's grandfather, a famous artist, is best known for his haunting portrait Woman in Red, which happens to be of Alice Kessler's grandmother. In a tale that weaves the past with the present, we come to know the story behind the portrait, of a forbidden wartime romance between William McGinty and Eleanor Styles, and a deadly secret-one that is about to be unburied

Audiobook, MP3, 0 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by Tantor Media, Inc. (first published 2007)
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Let me start by saying I love Eileen Goudge's writing style. She has a flow that makes her books so easy to read and wonderful to listen to. The narrator for the audio of the book did a great job with this.

I enjoyed this story that intertwined three families through three generations. The past repeats itself somewhat in the present. The story starts off with a tragedy that changes the lives of many. It continues with the characters trying to start their lives over, or pick up the pieces of the
Oct 12, 2015 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, netgalley

This was my first book to read by this author, which I will remedy---I will be checking out more by her. This definitely reminded me of a Jodi Piccoult novel, so if your not a fan of hers I'm not sure this would be interesting to you. I liked the story though, in a quiet and understated way. Once again, I really enjoyed the past story better. I felt so sad about Eleanor and William! I did like all the characters, the writing, and the story.

**Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-copy
Jul 05, 2011 Ananda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, now that I read this book I am ashamed for not reading it earlier. I borrowed it from a friend, and the book was on my shelve for almost a month. I don't know..there was something seriously bothering with this book (I don't like the cover and I hate red color). So, these were the main reasons why it took me so long to grab this book into my hands. But boy oh boy, was I wrong!!! The book is great! I loved the story (though romance is not my fav genre) and the characters. Being a mother myse ...more
Feb 29, 2008 Jaime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was just okay. The story, though interesting, failed to deliver any effective twists and turns in the plot; the reader pretty much knew the "big secret" half way into the book. This made the book's ending mediocre at best. Some of the wording was trite and cheesy (for lack of a better term) which put me off a bit. Although this book wasn't a total waste of time, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone--there are too many other great books out there on which to spend one's free time.
Jul 22, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-checkout
A wonderful melding of the past and the present. Who is the beautiful woman in the portrait of the Woman In Red? Colin comes to Gray's Island to determine what to do with his grandfather's cottage, the painter of the famous portrait. He has hit bottom and needs a fresh start and healing. Alice, just released from jail is also looking for a second chance. Her son was a young boy when she was sent to prison and now is a teenager not ready to forgive her. Paralleling the story of Colin and Alice is ...more
Dec 26, 2015 Vox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To some extent, you can't blame Alice Kessler for how she reacted. She not only watched her eight-year-old son get run over by a car, she quickly discerned that the driver, Owen White, the son of a powerful local man, was drunk. She then had to sit through Owen's trial, listen to witness testimony that declared Owen sober, and watch as the jury returned its verdict of not guilty.

The pain Alice felt when David got killed has only increased, and the loss doesn't merely control her, it defines her.
Jul 02, 2011 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Diane , Jill , Sheri
Recommended to Angie by: me!
Shelves: fiction
As I think about my review for this book , I have to laugh ... Although Goudge has the market cornered on secrets in this superb book , I'm going to disclose a secret of my very own !

Even though I LOVE to read , I am not one of those folks you'll see on the bus with book in hand , in the grocery store check-out line flipping pages, or waiting in the car for hubby to return something in the hardware store with my nose in a book . I'd like to be one of those people , but ...

Truth is , I am not

This book had so much potential as a story -- a plot about three family lines living on an island and how each generation interacts -- but I ended up pretty frustrated with the book. First of all, the author uses the same repetitive language: like so many stars in the sky, like so many waves in the sea, like so many splinters on the ground. Either pick another phrase or stop with the similes altogether! Additionally, I didn't really like the characters. I know you don't have to like the characte ...more
May 16, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alice lost her son at the hands of Owen, a man who was driving drunk. And when Owen gets to walk after trial, Alice seeks her revenge by running him over. The story takes place after she gets out of jail and is forced make a new life for herself, including making amends with her other son. The story contains a lot of vivid characters, including Calpurnia, Alice's friend who was in prison with her, and the rest of her family. The story goes back and forth between Alice's story and her grandmother ...more
May 19, 2009 TheSaint rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Not my usual selection, but my book club decided to read it, so I picked it and got through it in a day and forgot about it just as quickly.
The island setting is integral to understanding the motivations of the characters: They seem to be trapped in space. The time, however, shifts around in the past, involving recent ancestors and their influence on events in the present.
My problem, as usual, was that I just didn't care about the characters. Sure, the protagonist goes off and almost kills the m
Jun 23, 2015 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O, what a tangled web we weave... - Sir Walter Scott

This book originally came out in 2007. I read and enjoyed it then - and I just re-read it and enjoyed it just as much this time around.

I especially like the character of Alice Kessler, a strong woman in spite of the terrible burdens life has directed her way. She sees her young son run down and killed by a drunk driver and then sees the driver get off without even a slap on the wrist. So when she sees the driver in the parking lot after the tri
Andrea Stoeckel
Read 6/23-24. 4 stars

[I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.]

This is a very convoluted story of three families: the Whites, the Kesslers and the McGintys. The st
Halee Matthews
Sep 24, 2015 Halee Matthews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book pulled me in from the start--I mean, a woman reacting to the death of her child by enacting her own version of justice? I wanted to know what she would become when she was released from prison.

There are multiple perspectives through which this story is told, and two timelines, generations apart. Occasionally I found it difficult to remember which timeline we were in (since the ancestors and descendants were incredibly similar), but I adjusted. The flawed characters struggle to make th
Jun 04, 2008 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a contest and was excited to read it. You don't find out until about 1/2 way through that is gets pretty ... graphic. I enjoyed the story, but not worth reading all the trashy stuff to get through it.
Apr 03, 2009 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was disappointing- a little bit too contrived. Too many cliche characters, not enough of a big climax, didn't really connect with the characters or believe their passion.
Kendi Hollis
Oct 25, 2007 Kendi Hollis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, it was endless with excitement!! I never got bored with it!!
Nine years ago Alice Kessler's oldest son, David, was killed by a drunk driver, Owen White. Mr. White was the patriarch of the richest and most influential family on Gray's Island, Washington. The criminal trial led to a not-guilty verdict and Alice, stunned by the jury's decision, was overcome with grief and rage as she aimed her car at Owen as he left the courthouse. After nine years in jail for attempted murder, Alice has returned to the island where Owen White lives in a wheelchair but is no ...more
Cassie Shumate
First off, this author is just amazing, she always says the right thing to keep you interested and I'd read any of her books.This book in particular I found to be really good. The mystery of who is the woman in red, seen in the portrait hanging in the house of Collin's recently deceased grandfather. Collin meets this girl (Alice) on his way over to the island, when he first sees her he knows there is something there. Crazy thing is she somewhat resembles the lady from the portrait. Alice is comi ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Jeanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They were kindred spirits, no matter the different circumstances which had landed them both in the same place.

Over several generations, a war, and a love found and lost, Alice Kessler and Colin McGinty have been brought together full circle finishing what their grandparents started during WWII. Alice just been recently released from prison ready to start building her life back together again. Coming back home to her surviving son and her sister and mother, she desires to tear down the walls th
Kathleen Paterka
I’ve been a fan of author Eileen Goudge since discovering her novel GARDEN OF LIES. Upon finishing the story, I immediately moved on to its sequel, THORNS OF TRUTH, and have been working my way through her other books. WOMAN IN RED is a literary masterpiece.

Goudge has woven an intricate story of two worlds and two families torn apart by war and crimes of passion. Each family has its set of secrets; juxtaposed amidst the secrets are the desires, dreams and fears hidden deep within the heart of e
This book was a great read. I read a lot of book and only rate a few book with 5 stars but this one would be a 4.5 if I could. I have read several books by Eileen Goudge and thoroughly enjoyed them all but this one was probably my favorite so far. The plot starts out with Alice Kessler trying to obtain justice for her son's death. He had been hit by a drunk driver, who because his prominent position in the community, had escaped without penalty. In a state of mental breakdown, she commits an act ...more
Elevate Difference
Eileen Goudge offers a fantastically woven story of revisiting the past and the relationships involved in family affairs, dating back many years and catching up with the present. A contemporary novel drawn with a good plot, involving intriguing twists, Woman in Red captures family values and crafts them into a well-developed, though at times too far-fetched, story of family, love, and overall human caring.

Acknowledging her past may haunt her, Alice Kessler returns to her home by ferry to an isl
Jan 08, 2011 Danna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eileen Goudge weaves a tale of intrigue, mystery, love, and family ties in Woman in Red. She also touches on the heavier issues of war and racism towards Japanese US citizens during WWII. I was caught up in this novel immediately, surprising myself by consuming its almost-400 pages in a single day.
The story begins with the death of 9-year-old David, hit by Owen White (popular, wealthy man-about-town), while riding his bicycle near his home. David's mother, Alice, is witness to the accident and e
May 18, 2011 Rika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite liked the book. It was a refreshing treat after the crap teen books I've been reading recently. It explored many issues and her writing echoes faintly that of Jodi Picoult's.
It was nice to read something realistic and see tragedy turn into happiness.
I really liked how the story revolved around the painting of the woman in red and the characters of Eleanor Styles and William McGinty and how their actions resounded through the story bringing all the characters together.
All the different n
Aug 01, 2008 Eliece rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an intriguing story! Set in two different time periods on a small island off the coast of Washington, it begins with the present day as Alice has just been released from 9 years in prison. She was found guilty of crippling the man who hit and killed her child while driving drunk. He got away with it because he basically owned the whole island.
Rebuffed by most of her neighbors and even her remaining son, she gradually becomes friends with Colin, a recovering alcoholic who hit bottom after hi
Sep 05, 2011 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit slow at the start, but did pick up the pace and in turn my interest around the middle. Alice and Colin were very interesting characters. I also loved the story about their grandparents. It is truly a story about love and the wonders of it. How love can be the muse to create a beautiful piece of art, to endure the pain of seeing the one you love, but not being able to have it, and how love can heal old wounds. Love is at the core.
The end was satisfying. I was a bit bummed tha
Aug 17, 2012 Pam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read so many books that for one to get more than 3 stars from me, it has to be awfully good in either the writing, the mystery, or the entertainment and while this story was mildly interesting, it was a little too predictable for me. The other thing is that when a book is not about what I was thinking it would be, it is a bit of a disappointment (that would be my own fault for assuming I knew ahead of time what the story would be). I was assuming that this would be more about a trial and reve ...more
Diane  Holm
Apr 12, 2011 Diane Holm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No matter how hard you try, people hold the past against you. When Alice Kessler stepped off the ferry, she could feel the ill will. It penetrated her skin, like the chilling fingers of the relentless wind.

Grays Island, located in Puget Sound, Washington, held many wonderful recollections for Alice. But they were overshadowed by dark, vivid memories, full of pain, anger, and injustice. One desperate act had left her young son, Jeremy, without his mother. That was nine years ago. The complete em
Marienettek Ehs
Dec 16, 2013 Marienettek Ehs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marienette Kamanda
Women in red is a story that weave the past and the present. Spending nine years in prison was what it cost her now she's out and there is still problem because her young son jeremy who is all grown up is accused of rape. Now mother and son has to do anything to prove their innocent.Reading this book makes me think about how i will be if i loose someone dear to me due to some drunk driver.

I didn't think that she intentionally ran over the drunk driver who kill her son. She w
Mar 30, 2008 Terra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge was an exquisite read. They say you should never judge a book by it's cover but in this case you most certainly should. The stunning beauty of the cover is only a sampling of what lies within. A must read for any romance lover.

Alice Kessler is your average mom in every way except that she has lost her oldest son to a freak accident. Driven by grief she cannot let go when the driver is found innocent. This in turn sets forth a chain of events leading her to make choi
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I began writing at the age of eight, and wrote my way through the lean years, more than one marriage, single motherhood,and moving to the Big Apple on a wing and a prayer, with fifteen women's fiction novels to show for it. Every life experience I've weathered has found its way into my novels in one form or another:bad exes, births, deaths,divorces, pregnancy scares,true crime (I was nearly kidnap ...more
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