Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Drowning Tree (2004)

I discovered Carol Goodman a number of years back when I read The Seduction of Water (2003) and The Lake of Dead Languages (2002). All Ms. Goodman's books are what I would call Romantic Gothic Mysteries with similar motifs and designs. She sets her stories in the Hudson River Valley in small college towns. Past college friendships, youthful indiscretions, secret histories and suggestions of ghosts combine to cause suspense and a sense of dread. Imagine the artwork of J.W. Waterhouse.

Juno Mackay didn't manage to graduate from Penrose College. She ended up marrying Neil and having a baby instead. Bea is now 15 and Neil, once a talented artist, was committeed to the local asylum thirteen years earlier for attempting to kill his family. Juno supports herself by restoring stained glass. Her best friend Christine seems to have found some interesting information about a famous stained glass window at the college that Juno has been asked to restore. Asking the wrong questions sets a whole interconnected set of reactions in motion.

Luckily Carol Goodman has two newer titles for me! The Ghost Orchid (2007) and The Sonnet Lover (2007). The poems in the second title are written by her husband, Lee Slonimsky.

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