Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sonia's Debut Review Has Some Magical Realism To It.
The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness tells the story of George Duncan, a divorced and too-nice American man living in England who is awoken one night by an otherworldly keening sound. He stumbles outside his house to find a huge white crane, wing shot through by an arrow. The next morning, a mysterious and beautiful woman (and skilled artist) arrives in George's print shop, introducing herself as Kumiko, inspiring in George and immediate and desperate love and changing his life forever.

Interwoven in the chapters that tell the story of George and Kumiko is a myth, a love story about a crane and a volcano, or a story about the relationship between anger and forgiveness, depending on how you look at it.

The Crane Wife is great in a lot of ways. It's creative and fun and thematically interesting and the art described inside of it is beautiful. There's some structural experimentation, the myth being told in a series of very short sections, and that's exciting. The dialogue is fun and the characters are lively and true to life. Though it strays a little into sentimentality at points, I think for the most part it's romantic in a way that doesn't feel cloying or overdone. In fact there are revelations in The Crane Wife about love, with all its difficulty and sadness, that feel honest and ring true, the kind of sentences that make you want to write them down somewhere and revisit them later, which I very much enjoyed.

If you like magical realism, or books about love, give it a shot.


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