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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I'm rather disappointed in myself; I can't think of much to say about this novel apart from general comments on quality, etc.
I fell in love with Goodman's haunting debut, The Lake of Dead Languages (nominated for Dublin's prestigious Impac Prize) for it's beautiful writing, claustrophobic atmosphere, depths in mythology and lore, and the pain which seemed to seep from its pages. It is one of my favourite debut novels of all time, alongside Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Her second and third novels haven't been as good (I wasn't really expecting them to be; very little is), but they have been perfectly respectable, good and novels. I still enjoyed them very much. The writing was still really good, and The Drowning Tree in particular has several wonderful slices of the Greek and Roman mythology of which I am so incredibly enamoured.
But there's still not a lot to say about it. Characters are good, story is good, the ending's satisfying and a nice surprise - I wasn't expecting anything particularly unexpected, but I was certainly wrong. There are always beautiful touches of originality in Goodman's work, and here it is the concept of Glass Conservators - the job of the lead character, who is restoring the beautiful famed window of her old college. I've never read a mystery with its background in the restoration of an old stained-glass window, and it makes an excellent metaphor for the puzzles and mysteries to be solved.
The Drowning Tree is a very good, enjoyable book. It ain't quick or particularly exciting, so if that's your thing then you should probably keep away. Instead it's a suspensful, delicate thriller whose pleasure lies in the gradual unveiling of events. It's an unequivocal imaginitive sucess as well - the concept of a half-sunken statue garden is excellent.
Overall, a sucess.
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Carol Goodman is an author I always expect to like, due to her style and subject matters, but I have found myself a bit disappointed on a couple of occasions. Unfortunately, reading The Drowning Tree is one such occasion.

The story is about Juno McKay, a glass restorer undertaking work on the Lady Window at the college which she had attended 15 years previously. The book starts with her best friend, Christine, giving a lecture on the window and some new information she has found about its origins. When Christine is found dead in the local waters, Juno wonders if there is more to the story than she at first thought.

The story is certainly appealing, but for some reason I found it to be slow and long-winded. It never picked up pace enough for me to become engrossed in it. A bit of a disappointment for me personally, but I am coming to realise that Carol Goodman may not quite be an author for me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2004
I am quite a fan of Carol Goodman - she writes intelligent mysteries with more than an air of literature in the subject matter, which always makes her books interesting for those also obsessed by literature. The whole world of stained glass conservation is researched well for this novel and I really enjoyed dipping into an 'arty-farty' world I know nothing about.
However, the plot is a little weak and I kind of guessed the ending which really disappointed me - but it won't put me off buying her next book!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I'm rather disappointed in myself; I can't think of much to say about this novel apart from general comments on quality, etc.
I fell in love with Goodman's haunting debut, The Lake of Dead Languages (nominated for Dublin's prestigious Impac Prize) for it's beautiful writing, claustrophobic atmosphere, depths in mythology and lore, and the pain which seemed to seep from its pages. It is one of my favourite debut novels of all time, alongside Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Her second and third novels haven't been as good (I wasn't really expecting them to be; very little is), but they have been perfectly respectable, good and novels. I still enjoyed them very much. The writing was still really good, and The Drowning Tree in particular has several wonderful slices of the Greek and Roman mythology of which I am so incredibly enamoured.
But there's still not a lot to say about it. Characters are good, story is good, the ending's satisfying and a nice surprise - I wasn't expecting anything particularly unexpected, but I was certainly wrong. There are always beautiful touches of originality in Goodman's work, and here it is the concept of Glass Conservators - the job of the lead character, who is restoring the beautiful famed window of her old college. I've never read a mystery with its background in the restoration of an old stained-glass window, and it makes an excellent metaphor for the puzzles and mysteries to be solved.
The Drowning Tree is a very good, enjoyable book. It ain't quick or particularly exciting, so if that's your thing then you should probably keep away. Instead it's a suspensful, delicate thriller whose pleasure lies in the gradual unveiling of events. It's an unequivocal imaginitive sucess as well - the concept of a half-sunken statue garden is excellent.
Overall, a sucess.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2010
This is a nice book. Fairly well written thus easy to read and a story that is predictable from chapter two latest.
If one needs to kill some time recommended. If one is looking for a suspenseful novel look elsewhere.
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