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Alice Kessler spent nine years in prison for the attempted murder of the drunk driver who killed her eldest son. Now she has returned home to Grays Island to reconnect with the son she left behind. Her little boy, Jeremy, an angry teenager now, is wrongly accused of rape, and so mother and son are thrown together in a desperate attempt to prove his innocence. At the same time, Alice must battle the man responsible for putting her behind bars, who has since become the mayor of her hometown. She is aided by Colin McGinty, a recovering alcoholic and 9/11 widower. Colin has also recently returned to the island in the aftermath of the death of his grandfather, a famous artist best known for his haunting portrait, Woman in Red, which happens to be of Alices grandmother.
In a tale that weaves the past with the present, we come to know the story behind the portrait, of the forbidden wartime romance between William McGinty and Eleanor Styles, and the deadly secret that bound them more tightly than even their love for each other. A secret that, more than half a century later, is about to be unburied, as Alice and Colin are drawn into a fragile romance of their own and the ghost of an enemy from long ago surfaces in the form of his grandson, the very man responsible for sending Alice to prison.