Aug 01, 08
Read in September, 2007
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 his wife died on 9/11. As they get to know each other, they come to realize that her grandmother was "the woman in red" in his grandfather's most famous painting. (I couldn't help being reminded of Andrew Wyeth and his Helga paintings.) At this point, the author switches to 1943 and begins to tell the forbidden love story of William and Eleanor, interspercing it with the modern-day troubles of their grandchildren.
This bare bones description doesn't do justice to the plot, or the characters. It was a page-turner and had a wonderful surprise ending.