Published: 2013 by Canongate Books Ltd
Read: July 2013
Trivia Tidbit: The author was inspired by the Japanese folk tale The Crane Wife, originally told to him by his Hawaiian kindergarten teacher, Mrs Nishimoto.
Full Disclosure: Advance reading copy from TheReadingRoom and the publisher. However, also received a signed copy (yay!) for my birthday
George Duncan is a decent, kind, lonely, middle-aged man who owns a small printing shop in London. He is divorced, though on friendly terms with his ex-wife and her new husband, and he is devoted to his daughter Amanda and her son JP. The story begins when George is woken one night by a distressed sound - a 'keening' - and he discovers an injured crane in his back garden. The crane has been shot with an arrow and George helps remove it. The next day a beautiful, enigmatic woman, Kumiko, enters his shop and so begins a love affair that changes George forever.
You know those books that, when you're reading them, you can't wait to finish but at the same time you don't want it to end? For me, The Crane Wife was one of those books. There was at once an urgency and a sense of foreboding that kept me entranced. The writing is lyrical, and Ness binds the folk tale and the modern story together artfully.
I will read this again because I know I missed some treasures in my enthusiasm to inhale this book and because this is one of those books that will only improve on second reading and greater understanding.