Reissue edition - the Original published - December 2005
No one explores the complex bonds of family like Belva Plain, whose more than twenty New York Times bestsellers have touched the hearts of readers and garnered legions of devoted fans. Now Plain dazzles us once again with a novel of rare eloquence and raw emotion. Filled with all the author's trademarks - wisdom, compassion, and brilliant storytelling - Red Leaves tells the story of three generations of women . . . and the gifts of healing and forgiveness that can mend the heart of a family.
It happened as car accidents often do, violently and without warning. In a flash of steel and glass, lives are lost, dreams shattered, and families forever changed. That's how it happens for Jean Wright, a pillar of her New England community, when a loved one is swept away in one sudden fateful moment. In the days that follow, as neighbors stop by with plates of food and words of comfort, Jean knows one thing for certain: her carefully ordered world will never be the same. For there is the surviving child to think about now – and Jean must put aside her grief to take in one-year-old Guin, who has no one else to raise her.
But as Guin grows up into a shy, dreamy girl, their life together is fraught with conflict. When Guin defies the only mother she's ever known by striking out on her own - writing children's books and marrying a man far below her social standing - their relationship seems irreparably damaged. It is only when Guin has a child of her own, a little girl who is so very like Jean in personality, that events come full circle . . . and she finds that the qualities that drive you apart can also draw you together.
A novel of mothers and daughters, of mixed blessings and second chances, Red Leaves brilliantly explores the fragility of life - and the power of love to heal and transform. It is a work of depth and grace from one of the world's most beloved storytellers.