A magical novel, based on a Japanese folk tale, that imagines how the life of a broken-hearted man is transformed when he rescues an injured white crane that has landed in his backyard.
George Duncan is an American living and working in London. At 48, he owns a small print shop, is divorced, and lonelier than he realizes. All of the women with whom he has relationships eventually leave him for being too nice. But one night he is woken by an astonishing sound - a terrific keening, which is coming from somewhere in his garden. When he investigates he finds a great white crane, a bird taller than even himself. It has been shot through the wing with an arrow. Moved more than he can say, George struggles to take out the arrow from the bird's wing, saving its life before it flies away into the night sky.
The next morning, a shaken George tries to go about his daily life, retreating to the back of his store and making cuttings from discarded books - a harmless, personal hobby - when through the front door of the shop a woman walks in. Her name is Kumiko, and she asks George to help her with her own artwork. George is dumbstruck by her beauty and her enigmatic nature, and begins to fall desperately in love with her. She seems to hold the potential to change his entire life, if he could only get her to reveal the secret of who she is and why she has brought her artwork to him.
Witty, magical, and romantic, The Crane Wife is a story of passion and sacrifice, that resonates on the level of dream and myth. It is a novel that celebrates the creative imagination, and the disruptive power of love.
"Ness fashions his mosaic of prose, piecing narrative with snips of a myth-like fable to create a bittersweet story of loss and love. The narrative pace will keep the pages turning, while the imagery and metaphors wound throughout will stay with readers long after they close the book." (Library Journal)
"The Crane Wife is a special novel: a perfect fusion of surreal imagery and beautifully crafted internal logic." (The Telegraph)
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Among My Most Favorite Books Ever
Absolutely, it was such a pleasure. I am going to save it for a time when I could use something to lift my spirits and open my mind to possibility
The realization that the Crane was having such an amazing positive effect on the family, that she was a Goddess in human form.
The scene in the very beginning when he is holding the Crane and she wraps her neck around his upper body. I see that in my mind's eye whenever I think of the book. It totally drew me into the book. The writer was so capable of placing you in the situations in the book by his brilliant descriptions. I can see many of the scenes in full color in my head.
Both!! I'm having trouble writing this review because I don't want to ruin the book for anyone reading these reviews, and at the same time I want to encourage people to experience the book. I wish there was another star, or maybe I should go back and readjust all of my ratings to reflect the true feelings I have about this and a couple of other books I have read recently like "The Invention of Wings", "The Book of Tea" and "MiddleMarch".
I wish there was a way for us to identify in advance the books like this so I could buy them all. The pleasure of this book was astounding. I have told all of my friends about it. When it is said that "other books are similar" it isn't really true. I guess I should fine someone with similar taste and follow their suggestions.
- Kindle Customer
an experience, but flawed
- Michael P. Long "mplong"