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The drowning tree by Carol Goodman
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The drowning tree (edition 2005)

by Carol Goodman

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5452418,389 (3.64)25
Member:bookmagic
Title:The drowning tree
Authors:Carol Goodman
Info:New York : Ballantine Books, 2005.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I always learn something from Carol Goodman's novels. She has a magical way of blending the classics into her storyline, so that while I'm rooting for various characters, I'm also getting bits of Greek and Roman mythology, history, and a bit of Latin, to boot.

This was another such novel (many of hers seem to involve classics, art, water, and female schoolmates) that brought in the many angles of love and loyalty. I really was intrigued by all the information on stained glassworks, and wish I could go up to the Hudson to see the area where this story took place. I'd also like to see some of the artwork and statuary described in the book. ( )
  bookczuk | Oct 23, 2013 |
Carol Goodman continues with her theme of secrets-from-the-past in her third book. Once again, she's created a world that I became completely absorbed in and a mystery that I couldn't figure out. Each time I thought "ah ha, THIS is what happened" the main character thought of it herself and sent the story in another direction by disproving it.

It happens too often that I love someone's debut novel and then end up disappointed in everything that follows, so I'm really glad Goodman isn't falling victim to that trend. ( )
  BrookeAshley | May 21, 2013 |
Really liked this one. Skimmed a few art descriptions, but it was a good mystery and story-line. Will read more of hers.
  overflowingshelves | Oct 21, 2012 |
Carol Goodman is an author I always expect to like, due to her style and subject matters, but I have found myself a bit disappointed on a couple of occasions. Unfortunately, reading The Drowning Tree is one such occasion.

The story is about Juno McKay, a glass restorer undertaking work on the Lady Window at the college which she had attended 15 years previously. The book starts with her best friend, Christine, giving a lecture on the window and some new information she has found about its origins. When Christine is found dead in the local waters, Juno wonders if there is more to the story than she at first thought.

The story is certainly appealing, but for some reason I found it to be slow and long-winded. It never picked up pace enough for me to become engrossed in it. A bit of a disappointment for me personally, but I am coming to realise that Carol Goodman may not quite be an author for me. ( )
  nicx27 | Dec 14, 2011 |
This novel contains all the elements that reverberate through Goodman's work: single mother and teenage daughter, historical mystery, academic institution with a potentially dark secret, and mysterious works of art. Carol Goodman can write a cracking good mystery, and she's done it again here. Reading Goodman means that I can be sure I'm getting a good page-turner, that I'll be taken in with suspense, and that I'll be rushing to get to the end to find the solution to the mystery.

Those praises accounted for, I must also mention that this is my third Goodman novel, and the formula is getting a bit worn. The plots are always well-constructed, but the cast of characters and the love story are always so very similar. The main character is always a single mother, an artist or academic interested in the arts. I'll keep reading Goodman's books, but it's starting to seem like an exercise in diminishing returns. I first read The Lake of Dead Languages, and thought it was brilliant. I'm not sure that The Drowning Tree (or Arcadia Falls, which I've also read) are lesser books, it's just that they're starting to seem repetitive.

This particular story relied on the descriptions of some rather complicated architecture, including a sunken garden. I sometimes found it quite difficult to visualize these features, and they are integral to the plot. Goodman has the ability to visualize complicated and dramatic landscapes, but they're not always easy for the reader to recreate.

All of this said, I will continue to read Goodman's books, but I'm hoping that some of her other works will offer some new elements. ( )
  lahochstetler | Dec 20, 2010 |
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I was late for Christine's lecture.
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Book description
August Penrose created the stained glass 'Lady Window' to adorn the chapel of the university he founded for the daughters of the women who worked in his factory, the Rose Glass Works. Depicting his wife, Eugenie, as the Lady of Shallot, it's a mesmerising portrait that has come to embody the spirit of the school itself. But now, eighty years after it was created, the Lady Window is due for restoration. The task falls to former alumna Juno McKay. She's restoring it with the help of her friend, Christine Webb, an art historian who is researching the window for her thesis. Christine seems to have discovered some new evidence that suggests that Clare, not her sister Eugenie, was the subject for the Lady Window. But before Christine can discuss her findings with Juno, she's found dead in a boating accident that eerily echoes that fate of the Lady of Shallot. But did she drown or was it something more sinister? As Juno starts to make her own investigations into just how Christine died, she learns more about Augustus Penrose and his family. The Lady Window was not the only thing the Penroses' bequeathed to the world. Madness and deception also form part of their legacy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345462122, Paperback)

Artfully imagined, intricately detailed, eerily poignant: these are the outstanding features of Carol Goodman’s literary thrillers. She is part novelist, part craftsman—and The Drowning Tree is her newest masterpiece.

Juno McKay intended to avoid the nearby campus of her alma mater during her fifteenth reunion weekend, but she just can’t turn down the chance to see her longtime friend, Christine Webb, speak at the Penrose College library. Though Juno cringes at the inevitable talk of the pregnancy that kept her from graduating, and of her husband, Neil Buchwald, who ended up in a mental hospital only two years after their wedding, Juno endures the gossip for her friend’s sake. Christine’s lecture sends shockwaves through the rapt crowd when she reveals little-known details about the lives of two sisters, Eugenie and Clare—members of the powerful and influential family whose name the college bears. Christine’s revelation throws shadows of betrayal, lust, and insanity onto the family’s distinguished facade.

But after the lecture, Christine seems distant, uneasy, and sad. The next day, she disappears. Juno immediately suspects a connection to her friend’s shocking speech. Although painfully reminded of her own experience with Neil’s mental illness, Juno nevertheless peels away the layers of secrets and madness that surround the Penrose dynasty. She fears that Christine discovered something damning about them, perhaps even something worth killing for. And Juno is determined to find it—for herself, for her friend, and for her long-lost husband.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Remembering the falling out that ended her friendship with fellow student Christine, stained glass artist Juno apprehensively attends her former friend's lecture and is horrified when the woman is subsequently murdered, an occurrence that forces Juno to confront emotional truths about her own life.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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