Author(s): Jody Shields
Spring 1915. On a sprawling country estate not far from London a young woman mourns her husband, fallen on a distant battlefield. The eerie stillness in which she grieves will soon be shattered as her home is transformed into a bustling military hospital. Recoiling from the chaos, unhinged by grief, the young widow finds unexpected refuge in the plight of a young soldier whose face, concealed by bandages, she cannot see. Their affair takes a fateful turn when she seizes upon the opportunity to remake her lover in the image of her lost husband. The Crimson Portrait is a novel of glittering surfaces that belie dark truths. Its rich cast - including the elderly surgeon whose skills prove tragically insufficient, the stable boy who seeks to improve his station, and the American woman artist through whose alchemy the wounded soldiers are afforded their best hope of reclaiming their shattered lives - comes into focus as the novel peels back layers of suspense and intrigue to show the blossoming of romance and the inevitable testing of true love.