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    Review of THE DROWNING TREE by Carol Goodman

    Ballantine, December 2004

    Review by Cathy Richard Dodson (see her website)

    Juno McKay's return to her alma mater Penrose College comes with reservations, knowing that her scandalous past is bound to catch up with her there. But when her friend Christine asks her to be there for a lecture she's presenting about the college and its famous stained glass window, Juno, a stained glass artist herself, knows she must attend not only in support of her friend but also because she and her father have been asked to handle the renovation of the window.

    Juno has finally managed to make a good life for herself, after having to leave the school before her graduation due to an unplanned pregnancy, not to mention surviving the mental collapse of her young husband fourteen years earlier. When Christine's shocking lecture turns out to have unexpected ties to her now ex-husband, Juno finds herself caught up in a mystery long held in the slivers of the stained glass window.

    When Christine dies unexpectedly, Juno determines to unravel the mystery and what it may have had to do with her friend's death as well as how it's connected to her ex-husband. When she learns his mental condition has improved and there may be a second chance for a life with him, Juno vows to do anything she must to make that happen, both for herself and her daughter. But as she digs deeper into the mystery of the stained glass, she learns secrets about the founders of the college and their secret lives and how they parallel her own. As she's put into unforeseen dangers, the possibility arises that the husband who tried to kill her once in the past, may now have a chance to do so again.

    Once again, Goodman's excellent weaving of mythology and mystery provide a fascinating arena for this third novel. Her characters are always wonderful and these are no less so--Juno and her knowledge of stained glass, her husband Neil whose recovery from madness is bittersweet and tragic, Detective Falco with his developing affection for Juno. The period story of the colleges' founders and their own tragic relationship makes a wonderful backdrop for this story. Another fine job from Carol Goodman!

    See more reviews of novels by Carol Goodman.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 7/24/05

    See also what reader Pat Harrison says about THE DROWNING TREE

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