24 October 2008
A stained glass window. Beautiful painted canvases depicting scenes from the classics. A woman whose love has been banished, and another who doesn't trust the accounts of who she is. Tales from the classics, and classical museums. Corruption in caring for the helpless. Love that lasts from beyond the grave, and even beyond sanity.
Carol Goodman fills the pages of The Drowning Tree with enough themes to last for a trilogy, yet brings the tale together into a neat conclusion within the span of one novel. Her characters are manic, frantic, melancholy and pragmatic in turns and in ways not unlike one finds in real persons.
An excellent plot summary for The Drowning Tree is provided on the author's website, so I won't repeat that. I will say that one tactic of the authors that I found very interesting was that the narrator seemed to be left believing a falsehood about her friend, when all evidence indicates otherwise. I can't say I know of many books where at the end the narrator's concerns have been resolved but they are still mistaken about fundamental truths in their life.