Woman in Red is the story of Alice Kessler, a homemaker just released from a 9-year prison incarceration for the attempted murder of the drunk driver who killed her little boy. Alice returns to her home town but much has changed in nine years; her husband has divorced her and her other son is a sullen and confused teenager. The drunk driver is not only wheelchair bound but a mayor with clout and the town's sympathy.
When Alice's son is falsely accused of rape, Alice jumps into action to prove her son's innocence. She hires an attorney, Colin McGinty, and discovers that they are bound by history via Woman in Red, a portrait of Alice's grandmother, painted by Colin's grandfather.
Author Eileen Goudge has created a sympathetic and courageous character with Alice Kessler; any mother can identify with her outrage of not only losing her son but in seeing the drunk driver go completely free. Alice works hard to overcome her past and move on, while fighting for her remaining son.
The backstory of Alice's grandmother and Colin's grandfather is brilliantly weaved through the book and unites these two outcasts in unexpected ways.
Mystery, drama, romance, courage, outrage, sympathy and redemption - you'll find it all in this book. As an avid reader, I don't know how I've missed Eileen Goudge, but after reading Woman in Red, I won't miss her again!
Review by Maribeth Doerr
Published June 2007 by Vanguard Press
About the Author: Eileen Goudge is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Garden of Lies, Such Devoted Sisters, and One Last Dance. There are over 3 million copies of her books in print. Raised in the San Francisco Bay area, she moved to New York City with her two children after her first big writing break came when she was chosen to help launch a line of teen romances, which went on to become the phenomenally successful Sweet Valley High series. In 1986, Garden of Lies, her saga of baby girls switched at birth, was sold to a publisher and she has since gone on to write many more novels including Woman in Red. Her own real-life romance reads like those in her novels. After three failed marriages, she finally found true love with entertainment reporter, Sandy Kenyon. They were married in September 1996. Eileen and Sandy divide their time between New York City and Orcas Island, Washington.