What readers think of The Crane Wife, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Crane Wife

by Patrick Ness

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness X
The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2014, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2014, 320 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There is 1 reader review for The Crane Wife
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Power Reviewer
Cloggie Downunder

Quite magical.
“…a story …is a net, a net through which the truth flows. The net catches some of the truth, but not all, never all, only enough so that we can live with the extraordinary without it killing us”

The Crane Wife is the third stand-alone novel by American author, journalist and lecturer, Patrick Ness. He takes the old Japanese folktale of the same title and gives it a modern twist. George Duncan, a forty-eight-year-old divorced American living in London, goes outside on a cold winter’s night to find a crane with an arrow through its wing. He manages to remove the arrow, the crane flies off, and by the next day he is unsure it wasn’t all a dream. In his print shop the next day, he is toying half-heartedly with his latest artistic hobby, cuttings from discarded paperbacks mounted onto black backgrounds, when a woman comes in, introduces herself as Kumiko, and changes his life.

George’s adult daughter, Amanda is divorced from Henri, the father of her young son, JP (Jean Pierre) and, despite a loving upbringing, has difficulty maintaining close relationships, parents and son excepted. Her latest friendships with work colleagues, Rachel and Mei, seem to be disintegrating before her eyes. Amanda is stunned by the speed at which her father’s courtship of Kumiko progresses until she meets this remarkable woman herself.

This is a wonderful tale featuring quirky yet appealing characters and filled with beautiful prose: “…it was one of those special corners of what’s real, one of those moments, only a handful of which he could recall throughout his lifetime, where the world dwindled down to almost no one, where it seemed to pause just for him, so that he could, for a moment, be seized into life” and “The books on George’s walls were his sand mandala….they were the most serene reflection of his internal state. Or if not quite his internal state, then at least the internal state he would like to have had” and “…it was nothing at all like those hunched, purplish grey birds he sometimes saw skulking around the city like unwashed old gentlemen” are but a few examples.

Ness gives his characters plenty of words of wisdom: “…the inability of people to see themselves clearly. To see what they are actually like, not what they fear they are like or what they wish to be like, but what they actually are. Why is what you are never enough for you?” and explores the nature of truth and stories: “There were many truths – overlapping, stewed together – as there were tellers. The truth mattered less than the story’s life. A story forgotten died. A story remembered not only lived, but grew”

“He would tell her story. Not her whole story, of course, but the story of him and her, the story he knew, which were the only stories anyone could ever really tell. It would be only a glimpse, from one set of eyes” And what a superb story it is. Quite magical.
  • Page
  • 1

Beyond the Book:
  The Legend of the Crane Wife

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Migrations
    by Charlotte McConaghy
    Migrations, Australian author Charlotte McConaghy's literary fiction debut, earned a notably high ...
  • Book Jacket: The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel
    Kristin Harmel's historical novel The Forest of Vanishing Stars was very well-received by our First ...
  • Book Jacket: African Europeans
    African Europeans
    by Olivette Otele
    The nexus of Africans and Europeans is not a recent historical development. Rather, the peoples of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Killing Hills
    The Killing Hills
    by Chris Offutt
    The personified hills of the novel's title foreshadow the mood of this brooding and ominous tale. ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Migrations
by Charlotte McConaghy
A breathtaking page-turner and an ode to our threatened world.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Sunset Route
    by Carrot Quinn

    A beautiful memoir about forgiveness, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of nature.

Win This Book!
Win The Debt Trap

The Debt Trap
by Josh Mitchell

"A meticulous, eye-opening history of the US student debt crisis."
—Publishers Weekly

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A T I A Teapot

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.