Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

He's divorced and living alone when he hears a mournful keen outdoors.  He gets up, looks, and doesn't see anything.  Then he hears it again and realizes it's a bird.  A crane to be exact.  And it has an arrow in its wing.

The Penguin Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity read and review this ebook (thank you).  It will be published January 23rd, so make a note for a future bookstore stop.

This is written with the flavor of a Japanese fairy tale.  Besides the current story about George and his family, there is another tale within it.  That's a fairy tale about a crane and a volcano who are both in love with each other and hate each other.  The fairy tale sounds like a myth.  George sounds like a lonely man.

George owns a printing shop but he has a personal hobby.  He picks up old desecrated books and cuts them into pictures or animals or whatever they say to him.  He has no plans, he just begins cutting and then sees what emerges.  

When Kumiko walks into his shop, he has no idea his life is going to change.  She's a beautiful woman with artistic talent and she wants to create art with George.  He's amazed to be asked and is happy to work with her.  The tiles they create bring in a lot of money and he's dating Kumiko and all is good.

The ending is unusual and a bit of a mystery to me.  I understand that Kumiko was the crane and is part of the fairy tale but it also comes over into George's life and that gets a bit strange.  This is a fantasy that will stretch your mind.  It's interesting reading.

Happy reading.

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