Book Review: The Crane Wife (Patrick Ness)

 

Details:Publisher: Picador
Pages: 424
Release Date: 1st January 2014
 
Blurb (from Goodreads):

THE EXTRAORDINARY HAPPENS EVERYDAY
One night, George Duncan is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly away, his life is transformed. The next day, a beautiful woman called Kumiko walks into his shop and begins to tell him the most extraordinary story.

 

Wise, romantic, magical and funny, The Crane Wife is a celebration of the disruptive and redemptive power of love.

Review:


I was lucky enough to receive all of Patrick Ness’ books for my birthday this year (or at least the one’s I didn’t already own) and this included his adult books – there’s me branching out into something new again. I love his other books so much, I thought I was bound to enjoy the adult ones to. I also read through this with the lovely Miss Chapter who’s had it on her TBR for a while.

While I enjoyed the first chapter of the book, I wasn’t bowled over straight away, like I have been with all Ness’ other works. It took a little while for me to get fully into it, which is a pattern I’m starting to notice when I’m reading ‘adult’ books, so maybe it’s just me…The story is told in a few different ways: some chapters follow George while others show his daughter, Amanda. There are some which are entirely in dialogue, and others which follow the story of Kumiko’s 32 tiles and show the crane and the volcano. I particularly enjoyed the stories of how the fire started, as all of them felt true, and in the end it didn’t matter how or who started it: it just burned.

Out of all of them, I enjoyed Amanda’s bits the most. There was something that I really related to in her (which is a bit worrying, as I didn’t often like her very much…) That’s where I always feel Ness’ skills lie: in creating characters that are real and flawed and feel like actual people. Amanda can be mean and brash and doesn’t often know how to talk to people, but she was also lonely and confused and I just got it.

The sad thing about this book was that I quickly realised where it was going and I didn’t want it to get there. As soon as George forms this amazing relationship with Kumiko and has success with their art, you know it’s reaching its peak and there’s only downhill to go after that.

It seems that whatever he tries his hand at, I’m destined to love what Ness writes. I have three more of his adult books to get through from my birthday, and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into them.

My Verdict:

Ahaha I love this book, you should totally read it!

 

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