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The Crimson Portrait by Jody Shields

The Crimson Portrait is set in an English country manor during World War I. Catherine is the owner of the house, but having lost her husband and means of support to the war, her house is converted to a hospital for soldiers who have suffered horrific facial disfigurement. All mirrors have been removed from the house so that the men can't see their own injuries. Pioneering new surgical techniques, Dr. McCleary and dental surgeon Dr. Kazanjian, try to reconstruct their faces. They're aided by an American artist, Anna, who draws the new facial masks for the men based on their photographs. Catherine, however, falls for one of the patients, and begins to wonder whether he might really be her husband. She uses subterfuge to get Anna to re-create the mask for the patient based on her husband's photograph. Jody Shields' novel has received positive reviews with the Seattle Times saying, "The Crimson Portrait has much in common with Fields' earlier novel, her promising debut, The Fig Eater. Both are set in the early part of the 20th century. Both are based loosely on real events. And both are rich, multilayered tales exploring the porous boundaries of science, art and faith."
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Washington Post review by Ron Charles

San Francisco Chronicle review by Stephen J. Lyons

Seattle Times review by Adam Woog review by Kerrily Sapet

USA Today review by Carol Memmott

Boston Globe review by Judith Maas

Jody Shields
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