The Drowning Tree

The Drowning Tree 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

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 LadyAugust 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 sinister As Juno starts to make her own investigations into just how Christine died, she learns 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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The Drowning Tree

  1. Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, the Watchtower Trilogy with husband Lee Slonimsky , and the young adult Blythewood series Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latte, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices After graduation from Vassar College, where she majored in Latin, she taught Latin for several years in Austin, Texas She then received an M.F.A in fiction from the New School University Goodman currently teaches literature and writing at The New School and SUNY New Paltz and lives with her family in the Hudson Valley.

856 Reply to “The Drowning Tree”

  1. This was my third Carol Goodman novel and from the outset it s clear she definitely has a formula down Secrets from the past shedding light on the present, tight knit academia, meditations on art and literature, and gripping literary mysteries I suppose I should feel as if I ve read this before and from the same author , but instead I m waiting for a new one in the mail The Drowning Tree is the story of Juno McKay, former artist and current expert in stained glass She lives in the same small Hud [...]

  2. Such a pretty cover, not that you can tell from the thumbnail, but trust me I had this and the Mary Stewart 3 in 1 Merlin book on the coffee table at the same time Same colors One looks like some bizarre Jesus theory, the other looks brooding and mysterious The girls and I all noticed.Not just the cover is my cuppa Something horrible happened twenty years ago, and now many of the same people are back in town and one of them ends up dead More Laura Lippman than Barbara Vine, but very moody and at [...]

  3. This is by far my favorite Carol Goodman book I love the characters in it, the elements of mythology, the art, the settings, all of it It s also one of the saddest books I ve read When I read this book the first time, in high school, it was probably the saddest book I had ever read, and it took me about a week to get the story, and especially the ending, out of my head.This book has a lot of elements in common with other Carol Goodman books, such as the protagonist being divorced, having a child [...]

  4. Ahh, Carol Goodman Returning to her novels is like ordering your favorite meal at a restaurant You know exactly what to expect and will most likely enjoy it I certainly enjoyed this one Juno McKay sees her best friend Christine Webb off at the train station after their fifteenth year college reunion Christine had just delivered a lecture at the Penrose College Library, shocking the crowd with little known details about the founding Penrose family The next day, Christine disappears I find it easy [...]

  5. Why haven t I heard about this boook before Astoundingly good.Layers upon layers of symbolism and metaphor, from pre Raphaelite art to Greek mythology The layers show up not only in the characters activities, but in the language the author chooses The book is so lovely and carefully wrought, it makes my head spin in a good way.In addition, there is a mystery to be solved Those of you who hate mysteries, I am one of you Never read them Nope But I was sucked into this one by not knowing it was a m [...]

  6. I tried to wade through all the pretentious quotes in Latin, the lessons in Greek mythology, the prestigious school name dropping, among other things, but after 70 pages I still couldn t find a story in this book If you re really interested in the art of stain glass making or the rowing sport crew, then you ll enjoy the tedious, mind numbing descriptions that go on ad nauseam Unfortunately, I don t find either subject very appealing, especially not in the dosages the author is handing out When I [...]

  7. I listened to the audio version of this novel for a suspense genre study for work It s a contemporary Gothic set in upstate New York, where an art scholar drowns murder suicide while investigating the mysterious lives of a Victorian artist and his mentally ill sister in law The book has a few creepy, atmospheric moments, but ultimately is undone by ridiculous plot twists and clunky, repetitive writing for some reason every person or thing in the book looks like a medieval painting.

  8. Juno McKay s best friend, Christine Webb, is found dead in an upturned kayak on the private property of her alma mater, a women s college in upstate New York Before she died, Christine asked Juno if she thought that a person could love someone so much that the beloved would have no choice but to love them back Fourteen years earlier, Juno s husband, Neil, took her and their infant daughter out on the Hudson River, and in a fit of madness, attempted to drown them all The events of that day, Neil [...]

  9. When I finished The Lake of Dead Languages about a month ago, I couldn t wait to read by Carol Goodman I liked everything about it the setting, the characters, the references to art, literature and classical mythology, and the mystery although it wasn t very hard to solve Those same elements make The Drowning Tree worth reading too, but the similarities go so far that I sometimes wondered whether I wasn t still reading the same book Single mother with daughter faces mysterious developments in a [...]

  10. 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 [...]

  11. There s a possible murder at a snooty women s college, and the only way the heroine can save the day is with her vast knowledge of Greek Roman mythology and 19th Century stained glass techniques It s a book that lets you feel good about your liberal arts education.

  12. no one makes that many art history or mythology references in day to day life cool it with that nonsense.

  13. Carol Goodman is one of my favorite authors, but when you read her novels, you know you are going to have a female main character who is a writer, artist, art historian or some closely related field, a closed community of some sort and a mystery that links past and present But her writing is so lyrical and her plots so interesting, that it doesn t matter You fall into the mood and stay there till the end In this novel, best friends from college are, 15 years later, both working on their alma mat [...]

  14. Once again, Goodman delivers with a fabulous setting seemingly drawn from her own imagination I would wager that Goodman has spent time in upstate New York, because she writes of the place as if she knows it, as if she has thought it was beautiful for a long time And it sounds amazing, her descriptions make me want to visit so much than any of those Discover insert state here commercials I see on television The Drowning Tree also has that element of myth woven into the story The backstory of th [...]

  15. This is my first Carol Goodman novel and I think I ll go back and read her earlier work This was a really good novel This is such a well written book the imagery created by the author is just wonderful I enjoyed the intermix of the modern mystery and the ancient with the use of mythology throughout the book Really effective way to tell this particular story This wasn t an easy read yet it wasn t what I d characterize as difficult either It felt a bit academic but perhaps that was about the loca [...]

  16. Juno s best friend, Christine, mysteriously disappears after giving a controversial speech about the influential founding family of the college they both attended As Juno searches for answers about her friend s disappearance, her own dramatic past the unplanned pregnancy that kept her from graduating, her former husband s attempt to drown Juno and her daughter, and his subsequent admittance to a nearby mental hospital begins to emerge in uncomfortable and haunting ways.Dark, mysterious, and frau [...]

  17. After fifteen years, Juno McKay returns to Penrose College, her alma mater, to hear her friend Christine Webb give a lecture on a famous stained glass window that graces the college library Juno is reluctant to return, given that she dropped out of college shortly before graduation to give birth to her daughter, Bea, and to marry her boyfriend, Neil, who was institutionalized a year later Loyalty to Christine wins out, however, and Juno is gratified but also concerned when Christine reveals some [...]

  18. My least favorite book of this author thus far I was 70% in before it became interesting After reading so many of Goodman s books, I ve become a little annoyed with all of the extensive similarities The ever changing love interests 3 in this book alone as though her heroine is unable to be without a man The fact that characters can not only remember MANY direct quotes references from college classes they took 15 years ago as if it were yesterday,and all of her main characters seem to have an ext [...]

  19. Ms Goodman gives me a solid read for the second time around I enjoyed The Ghost Orchid sometime back I came across The Drowning Tree and was happy to curl up with it She held my attention I sped through the book I love the way she sets the pace of the story She gives you action and then backs off a bit to build tension It is the perfect atmospheric thriller I also enjoy the way she paints a picture and develops the atmosphere as you read I didn t feel as tightly drawn to this set of characters a [...]

  20. 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 g [...]

  21. This book was NOT a favorite of mine The book is very descriptive and those descriptions were painfully simple and one dimensional And the details were MANY Forget subtle foreshadowing, when some little detail of note occurred in the book, the it was explained in such overabundant detail, and flaunted things that were painfully obvious observations But this was not the end If this detail was then remembered by the main character, all the same information was written again as the small details we [...]

  22. This book had some good moments, but mostly it was just a hot mess There was way too much going on in the story and much of it was impossible to believe view spoiler Drug trials conducted by one physician who can secure FDA approval by killing patients who have side effects Yeah, no hide spoiler Too many blind alleys and crisscrossing plot lines, to the point that I m still not sure what exactly happened or what it all meant I ve read other Carol Goodman titles and have really enjoyed the combin [...]

  23. This was not so good In fact, I read about 120 pages and quit I knew whodunnit that early, and it wasn t very interesting as a mystery Boring characters and weird storyline I know Goodman s other novels got better reviews, so maybe I ll try one .

  24. I almost quit halfway through the college history and information on art glass making were very long and drawn out I am determined to finish thoughUpdate I finished it It wasn t great but at least I know what happened at the end.

  25. Interesting, but ultimately unfulfilling I liked the basic plot, but the construction was flawed and several of the characters seemed only to be there as obvious red herrings As a first novel, not bad, but suffers from some of the overwrought messiness that comes with inexperience.

  26. Way too much detail making the story drag on and on I felt like I should be a glass maker by the end of the story It was very boring but I managed to read to the end There were parts in the story that peaked my interest but soon got drowned by the inclusion of all the elements.

  27. And every time I thought I d figured it out a new bend in the road Best who done it I ve read in a long time Kudos.

  28. I enjoyed many aspects of this book I appreciated the depth of thought put into the plot and weaving together of the many different stories being told I also enjoyed the writing, though the imagery and symbolism did become a bit much at times This book tries to do a lot of things and several of those things it does well However, I found the resolution of the main mystery what happened to Christine to be quite silly and it completely took me out of the book The main character also started to anno [...]

  29. When Juno reluctantly attends her college reunion, only there to support her best friend Christine as she gives an art history lecture, she doesn t expect to have Christine s speech spiral out in dangerous repercussions that will reverberate throughout her past and present, and challenge everything she thinks she knows.I love Goodman s writing style It feels so immediate and puts you right in her characters heads.Goodman does an excellent job of exploring so many different types of relationships [...]

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