The Crimson Portrait: A Novel

The Crimson Portrait A Novel Spring On a sprawling country estate not far from London a young woman mourns her husband fallen on the battlefields of what has been declared the first World War But the isolated and eerie stil

  • Title: The Crimson Portrait: A Novel
  • Author: Jody Shields
  • ISBN: 9780316067188
  • Page: 108
  • Format: Paperback
  • Spring 1915 On a sprawling country estate not far from London a young woman mourns her husband, fallen on the battlefields of what has been declared the first World War But the isolated and eerie stillness in which she grieves is shattered when her home is transformed into a bustling military hospital to serve the war s most irreparably injured Disturbed by the intrusSpring 1915 On a sprawling country estate not far from London a young woman mourns her husband, fallen on the battlefields of what has been declared the first World War But the isolated and eerie stillness in which she grieves is shattered when her home is transformed into a bustling military hospital to serve the war s most irreparably injured Disturbed by the intrusion of the suffering men and their caretakers, the young widow finds unexpected solace in the company of a wounded soldier whose face, concealed by bandages, she cannot see Their affair takes an unexpected turn when fate presents her with an opportunity to remake her lover with the unwitting help of a visionary surgeon and an American woman artist in the image of her lost husband Inspired by the little known but extraordinary collaboration between artists and surgeons in the treatment of wounded men in the First World War, The Crimson Portrait peels back layers of suspense and intrigue to illuminate the abiding mysteries of identity and desire.

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      Published :2019-02-23T17:12:00+00:00

    1 thought on “The Crimson Portrait: A Novel”

    1. This story never really went anywhere. At the abrupt ending I was left feeling like I could've just read the synopsis on the book jacket and been done with it. The story was told from the perspectives of several different characters, none of which were very interesting or well-developed. Aside from knowing that Catherine was a widow and that she was sad I never got to know her and couldn't identify with her much at all. It would've been nice to hear Julian's perspective. In summary, the premise [...]

    2. It's 1915 and Catherine finds herself like one of many women, a young widow. Heartbroken and lost, she decides to honor her late husbands wishes to allow the troops to use their beautiful, sprawling mansion as a make-shift hospital. Little does she know how much her decision will change the rest of her life. As she watches her home become an absence of her former life, she slowly finds herself grasping for comfort in the dream of her dead husband. As she begins to take part in helping at the hos [...]

    3. Simply put, I was just bored by this book. The characters weren't interesting enough. The story progressed painfully slowly, and it ultimately fell flat. I kept hoping it would get more colorful and I would feel some emotion for these peoplebut that moment never came. Don't waste your time on this one.

    4. Set in England during World War I at a country estate turned into an army hospital, this novel explores some potentially riveting issues including the terrors of warfare, loss of identity and true love. Although the book is well-written, I did not care for the author's narrative style. I was not drawn into the story and found none of the characters particularly appealing.

    5. Billed as a literary thriller in the jacket copy, this may be literary but I did not find it thrilling. Disappointing narrative with no discernible plot, set in a military hospital in the First World War.Review: carlanayland/reviews/c

    6. This book was so boring I didn't even finish it. The characters were poorly developed and I never quite understood the heroine's motivation for her actions.

    7. Pre-finished review below. Only thing I have to add now that I'm done is that it didn't get any better. At the end, she is so artistic in her writing that it is actually unclear what happened to all the main characters. A disaster of a novel. I strongly recommend NOT reading this book, and I hope that Shields' other novel(s) were at least remotely less self-consciously "literary". I haven't finished this book yet, but want to record my current impression so I don't forget it - the prose is posed [...]

    8. Based on a true story, Catherine transforms her house into a military hospital per her late husband’s wish during WWI. It is 1915 outside London, as her house changes its status. Her servants leave her but two people, young boy and an old gardener. Once the house fills with suffering men she has a hard time coping with this. But unexpectedly she finds solace in the company of one wounded soldier.I do not like the style of writing of this author. The story is boring. The descriptions are boring [...]

    9. WWI, as in any war, has many layers and facets that history has written down somewhere, and forgotten where they placed them. This story is one part of the War that many probably didn't know existed and the author intricately paints a picture of one place and time during the War that was overlooked. The book was part educational, part research and the rest was a canvas of beautiful colors painted onto a sepia portrait. I loved the question in the book that delves deep into our souls that asks " [...]

    10. Ugh, this book was awful. I thought the premise was really interesting. This woman's husband dies and, according to the jacket cover, she has to decide if she wants to remake another man in her husbands image. Well, the jacket cover was probably the best part of the whole book. The characters were mind-numbingly boring and underexplored, the story didn't go anywhere, and I didn't really sympathize with anyone except McCleary, who was not developed to my satisfaction. I have never read anything b [...]

    11. This book was a good summer read. Amazing character development and details about facial muscles and other medical stuff. I really like this author. The end kind of bugged me though. It wasn't conclusive enough for me. Also, some of the characters' interactions with each other were so awkward!! Over all, I thought it was a fun read, especially if you like romance, or war-time eras.

    12. An outstanding novel set in early WWI, with detailed attention to the early days of craniofacial reconstructive surgery. A fascinating look at the attempts by the surgeons, artists, and craftsmen to reconstruct faces shattered by war.

    13. This book sat on my bookshelf for years as a secondhand gift. I finally decided to give it a try, and after finishing, I have mixed emotions. On one hand, the subject matter and time period are insanely interesting, but Shields' writing is so over-saturated with unimportant descriptions, that the story gets lost. I found myself re-reading passages five or six times to try and understand what was happening, and half the time I was confused. There were parts that I loved about the book, mainly the [...]

    14. "It's a mistake to believe we can have companions. We're alone in our work." (p. 265) McCleary dismissed the joking conversation that reached him over their shoulders as frivolous and unnecessary. Why couldn't they enjoy silence, the enormous space of quiet? He increasingly craved solitude. (p. 267)Ovid quoted:"All things are always changing,But nothing dies. The spirit comes and goes,Is housed wherever it will, shifts residenceFrom beasts to men, from men to beasts, but alwaysIt keeps on living [...]

    15. Three stars is probably generous, but Josephine Bailey does a perfectly fine job on the audio. Might not have stuck with this to the end if I'd been reading it. (Debbie, you would hate her metaphors. Even I found them distracting.) Fascinating subject matter. World War I with lots of battle survivors with huge portions of their faces blown or shot off. Doctors work with sculptors to create masks to hide the deformities. A couple of real life people are among the cast of characters: Anna Coleman [...]

    16. Didn't really enjoy this book. There were some interesting characters but for whatever reason I could not get engaged.

    17. "Spring 1915. On a sprawling country estate not far from London a young womanmourns her husband, fallen on a distant battlefield…The eerie stillness in which she grieves is shattered as her home is transformed into a bustling military hospital. Unsettled by the intrusion of the suffering soldiers, the increasingly fragile widow finds unexpected solace in the company of a wounded officer whose mutilated face, concealed by bandages, she cannot see. But then their affair takes an unexpected turn. [...]

    18. The story:Catherine is a young woman who has just recently become a WWI widow. Her estate is perfectly preserved in the state it was in when her husband was still in residence, but now it has been taken over in order to become a wartime hospital. Specifically it is dedicated to patients with devastating facial wounds who need the particular care of maxillofacial experts. Catherine is horrified that her home - her life - is being invaded. But then one day she catches a glimpse of a wounded soldie [...]

    19. I was pulled into this book by the inside jacket----and I had read The Fig Eaters by the same author and loved her writing style, so I gave it a whirl. It really started off as a great story, one filled with the angst of WWI, and how it affected several lives that eventually intertwine. The premise is about a woman that loses her husband in the war----so she uses her mansion to house a special hospital that deals with men that have extreme facial injuries. She ends up falling for one of the pati [...]

    20. (Rating of 2.5 stars) This novel takes place in England after the commencement of WWI and is a historical fiction based on several real people (Anna Coleman and Dr. Kazanjian). Catherine has lost her husband to the war, and is struggling to deal with her loss and the intrusion of turning her estate home into a convalescent hospital for soldiers with serious facial wounds. Two doctors at the hospital, Dr. McCleary, previously retired, but returned to service, and Dr. Kazanjian, work together to t [...]

    21. A strangely absorbing read. I guess when you are a bit of a history buff anything in that vein absorbs, so I'm glad I didn't take on board all the reviews and give up at the first hurdle.The book is loosely based on two actual historical figures, Anna Coleman Ladd, and Varaztad Kazanjian. Both worked in the treatment of the wounded in the First World War, where facial wounding was very common. Apparently, not a lot was known in this field, and Kazanjian improvised a lot with his treatments, and [...]

    22. if you have nothing better to do - read this book - a woman looses her husband and sees his ghost everywhere on their estate, the war explodes and her residence is converted into a hospital where the most horribly injured soldiers are brought. They all have terrible facial woundsere is a doctor who tires to reconstruct their faces so they can assimilate back into society - great part of the book. but you have to ask - is this to help the soldiers look "normal" or will they still end up not being [...]

    23. i cant figure out how many stars to give this book, or not wasnt what i tho't it was going to be. i dont even know if i can describe it! wealthy man and woman, man goes off to war, dies,leaves his home to be used as a hospital while his wife still lives there, military turns it into hospital for men with facial injuries,retired dr takes over, woman still lives there, dentist and american woman 'hook' up while she is traveling with her husband who is there to help with the war cause-woman leaves [...]

    24. Jody Shields constructed her first novel, The Fig Eater (2000), around the imagined murder of Freud's famous patient Dora. Similarly, two historical figures (Anna Coleman Ladd and Dr. Varaztad Kazanjian) provide the kernel of her absorbing new novel. Most critics loved this literary exploration of grief despite its unhurried plot; they praised the novel's fascinating subject, its engaging characters, and its beautiful use of language. In sharp contrast, The New York Times criticized "pat similes [...]

    25. Really more 3 1/2 stars. The description of the book is hugely misleading, but I'm glad it was. I never would have picked it up if the description had been accurate. I tend to be very squeamish about medical stuff, and that's a huge part of the book. I was really surprised that I found the graphic descriptions of injuries and medical procedures to be more interesting than gross.Overall, I can't say it was a fun read. It was a fairly dark book, as you'd expect from a story set almost entirely in [...]

    26. This was a very interesting but strange book. I enjoyed reading it but it was a different kind of story line. Then there was lots of history in the book regarding England during World War I and the new medical practices the doctors were trying to devise to help the injured who had been in bombing areas and needed facial reconstruction. The story takes place in an Estate that has been taken over by the army as a medical facility. The woman who owns the estate is a little mentally ill IMO. But the [...]

    27. Well after not reading "Freedom", I then just finished this book. I would also have stopped reading this one but then I thought something might be wrong with me but now I'm reading a Louise Penny book and am loving it, thank goodness. This book was so slow that it was really difficult to get through. It definitely picked up half way through but at 300 pages that is not a positive. It takes place out side of London during WWI. A woman just lost her husband in the war and converts her estate to a [...]

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