Friday, November 12, 2010
The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman
I was looking for a more recent title by Carol Goodman at the library but settled for this book from 2004 instead. Sure am glad I didn't miss this one. It's a haunting story that had me looking up myths and Ovid and art history, and enjoying my memories of how the Hudson River above the Tappan Zee Bridge looks in different light and weather. The Hudson is beautiful in any circumstances though, and Goodman describes it so well you can envision it even if you've never seen it in person.
I loved the main character, Juno McKay, who with her father is bringing a famous glass factory back to life. They repair and restore stained glass windows, about which process I learned many interesting things. I'll look at stained glass windows more closely and with more background to appreciate the art and workmanship now. Juno lives above the factory with her 15 year old daughter, Beatrice, and their two greyhounds, Paolo and Francesca.
One day Juno goes to nearby Penrose College, her alma mater, to hear her best friend since college give a lecture on a huge stained glass window McKay's company has contracted to restore. Juno's ex-husband was confined to a mental institution, also nearby, where her friend Christine's family has worked for generations. Everything is intertwined in fascinating relationships. On that day Juno and Christine have some time together and then walk to the train station where Juno sees her friend off. Later she learns that her friend never made it to NYC where she lives and teaches. Christine is never seen again - alive.
This is an intriguing story with great characters and settings. Old relationships and new figure into the tale and although I figured out that one character was up to no good, I didn't suspect the murderer until near the end.
I recommend this mystery novel for people who want a little more to chew on in a mystery. I am an Amazon Associate if you elect to buy it.