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Download The Crimson Portrait Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Crimson Portrait Audiobook, by Jody Shields Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (244 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jody Shields Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9781400173389
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This haunting love story—the magnificent new historical novel by the author of the national bestseller The Fig Eater—makes the ravages of love and war unforgettably real.

Spring 1915: on a sprawling country estate not far from London, a young woman mourns her husband, fallen on a distant battlefield. The eerie stillness in which she grieves is abruptly shattered as her home is transformed into a bustling military hospital. Recoiling from the chaos, unhinged by grief, the young widow finds unexpected refuge in a tender young soldier whose face, concealed by bandages, she cannot see. Their affair takes a fateful turn when she confronts—and seizes upon—the opportunity to remake her lover in the image of her lost husband.

The Crimson Portrait is a novel of glittering surfaces that belie dark truths. Its rich cast comes into focus as the novel peels back layers of suspense and intrigue to illuminate the abiding mysteries of affinity and desire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Shields’s writing weaves dark mythical symbolism with matter-of-fact medical nitty-gritty to reveal what happens when class, ignorance, hopefulness, and despair coalesce.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Each characterization is truly unique…[Bailey] expertly instills emotion into her voice…And her spot-on mastery of American, British, and East Indian dialects imbues this literary thriller with believability and realism.”

    Booklist

  • “Shields’s second novel…constructs a complex labyrinth of jealousy, addiction, passion, and regret as it also presents a history of maxillofacial (re: plastic) surgery and the medical arts.…this provocative and elegant novel is recommended for serious fiction collections.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tilden | 2/17/2014

    " Pretty boring novel, expected it to be better. Review in my NOTEBOOK. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 2/10/2014

    " I remember liking this book when I read it. It's somewhat similar to Atonement, set in the same period. But months later, I barely remember the story -- which I think is most telling about a book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather Knight | 1/31/2014

    " I just could not finish this book. I don't know if it was me or the book, but it was a bit like scraping my brain on asphalt. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 blueemerald | 1/15/2014

    " Set in a country manor turned military hospital for soldiers who suffered disfiguring facial injuries in 1915 England. Pioneering doctors attempt to reconstruct faces (and lives). The lady of the house is a war-widow, rather enjoys her misery, falls in love with a patient, and petitions to reconstruct the patient's face to that of her husband. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gigi | 1/14/2014

    " So poetic, yet technical at the same time about various medical and artistic topics. Hardly has any plot but the quality of the writing was so high that it didn't matter for me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Megan | 11/24/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 11/11/2013

    " Reading out loud with Darcy "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 10/8/2013

    " This book started out well and seemed to have potential. However, characters remained flat, and many potential plot turns were never developed in interesting ways. Most problematic for me, however, was the sense that the prose was overly dramatic, that it was trying too hard to be profound. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Lee | 5/28/2013

    " Had loved The Fig Eater, this was disappointing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 5/23/2013

    " Interesting characters but not much of a story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennb33 Brown | 1/3/2013

    " I'm kind of stalling on this book. The storyline isn't particularly good, but it's well written at least. Maybe it will pick up. Who knows. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rena Jane | 10/29/2012

    " Just read about this facial reconstruction surgery during WWI in an old Smithsonian magazine (January, 2007). It's amazing what authors are inspired by. Wonderful to learn about pieces of history through entertaining literature. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 9/24/2012

    " Glad I listened to this as it might have been a slow read. The birth of plastic surgery? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allison | 8/14/2012

    " A very interesting concept for a book but it felt like nothing really ever happened in it. Characters were very flat, no real dimension to them and the book just ended. I was hoping for more after reading the jacket but really didn't get it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peachy | 4/28/2012

    " This is such a unique story. Something fell apart, though. The stars come from the idea, not the execution. This would have been much better as a short story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janie Cakes | 1/22/2012

    " Takes place in 1915, it's WWI this book is creepy, haunting, beautiful, and dirty all in one package. It drove me insane, but in a good way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mecole | 11/15/2011

    " This book was beautifully written. However, the ending was abrupt and unsatisfying. Maybe that was intentional. I will read her other books, just because I'm curious. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 cynthia | 9/1/2011

    " a book club selection disliked by all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kw | 5/1/2011

    " 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 4/11/2011

    " I just could not finish this book. I don't know if it was me or the book, but it was a bit like scraping my brain on asphalt. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 1/10/2011

    " Interesting characters but not much of a story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 laur | 10/12/2010

    " I picked this up in the bargain bin expecting to just be eh and sort of disapointed in it. But I was pleasantly surprised by it. Not exactly heartwarming, but an interesting take on some actual historical bits. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janie Cakes | 8/5/2010

    " Takes place in 1915, it's WWI this book is creepy, haunting, beautiful, and dirty all in one package. It drove me insane, but in a good way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mecole | 6/27/2010

    " This book was beautifully written. However, the ending was abrupt and unsatisfying. Maybe that was intentional. I will read her other books, just because I'm curious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kw | 6/12/2010

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lady Feral | 9/18/2009

    " This is such a unique story. Something fell apart, though. The stars come from the idea, not the execution. This would have been much better as a short story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 8/17/2009

    " Loving this story about a woman who loses her husband in the war. Her home becomes a hospital and she falls in love with a soldier who has his face constructed to resemble her late husband. "

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About the Author

Jody Shields is a former design editor of the New York Times Magazine and a former editor at Vogue, House and Garden, and Details. She is the author of the nonfiction fashion books, All That Glitters and A Stylish History as well as the novel, The Fig Eater. Jody has also written several screenplays and has a master’s degree in art. Her prints are in various collections, including the Museum of Modern Art. She lives in New York.

About the Narrator

Josephine Bailey’s impeccable narrations include the British classics Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. She has also used her subtly nuanced style to enliven historical fiction and light romances. She has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.