Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

Summary/Image from Publisher:

A young woman travels alone to a remote island to uncover a past she never knew was hers in this thrilling modern ghost story.

When a mysterious letter lands in Hallie James’s mailbox, her life is upended. Hallie was raised by her loving father, having been told her mother died in a fire decades earlier. But it turns out that her mother, Madlyn, was alive until very recently. Why would Hallie’s father have taken her away from Madlyn? What really happened to her family thirty years ago?

In search of answers, Hallie travels to the place where her mother lived, a remote island in the middle of the Great Lakes. The stiff islanders fix her first with icy stares and then unabashed amazement as they recognize why she looks so familiar, and Hallie quickly realizes her family’s dark secrets are enmeshed in the history of this strange place. But not everyone greets her with such a chilly reception—a coffee-shop owner and the family’s lawyer both warm to Hallie, and the possibility of romance blooms. And then there’s the grand Victorian house bequeathed to her—maybe it’s the eerie atmosphere or maybe it’s the prim, elderly maid who used to work for her mother, but Hallie just can’t shake the feeling that strange things are starting to happen . . .

In The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb has created a haunting story full of delicious thrills, vibrant characters, and family secrets.


Every once in a blue moon, I am reminded of one of the many reasons why I love to blog/read blogs/the Internet overall. What's the reason, per say? Well, it's the fact that if not for blogging, I would have never ever heard of some of the books that ended up being among my absolute favorites. The Tale of Halcyon Crane was one of those books, and had I not heard about it, well, it would have been a very, very tragic thing, because this book was drop-dead amazing; not only of the best adult novels I've ever read, but one of the best books I've ever read!

The Tale of Halcyon Crane ended up surprising me in many ways.

One was the setting, which was Grand Manitour. The way Webb described it made me feel like I was right there taking part in the story the whole time. I loved the fact that in most ways it was very much a time-warped island, one that had no cell service (Oh, the horror of all horrors!) nor cars among other aspects.

The characters were another part of this story that I adored! They were well-developed, even the dead ones, and it was absolutely fascinating to learn about each and every one's back-story. My favorite out of all them would have to be Hallie James, the main character. Since while she was sweet, kind, and loving, she was also flawed, like any adult or teen. It was interesting to see her truly find herself on the island and let go of her past mistakes and hardships, so that instead she could move on to a place were she completely felt at home.

The plot and writing of this were both well done and, as mentioned before, truly brought this book to life. There was almost never a dull moment, much the opposite in the fact, since I was always clinging on to each word, dying to find out what would happen next. Plus there were parts in The Tale of Halcyon Crane I barley saw coming, an aspect I love in any story. And I loved the incorporation of ghosts in the novel. It gave it a unique spin that made it live up and well past it's full potential.

The only problem I had with this book would be the fact that the dialogue sometimes felt a wee bit awkward. But other than that, The Tale of Halcyon Crane is A+ material!

In all, The Tale of Halcyon Crane is a fabulous mix of ghosts, romance, and one girl finding herself to be more than she ever expected! I am highly look forward to reading Webb's next work. Since I'm sure it'll prove to be the same!

On a side note, I would like to also add that while The Tale of Halcyon Crane is technically an Adult book with all Adult characters, it's still very much a book that can enjoyed at all ages (Saying that I mean teens, not young children, of course). Further more, this book is pretty much sparkly clean, in cause your curious.

Grade: A+

The Tale of Halcyon Crane is now out!

Source: Publicist for review. Thanks Jason!


  1. Great review! I love romantic ghost stories. I’ll definitely check this one out sometime.

  2. I worked at Henry Holt when this book was bought, and everyone was so excited about it! I haven't read it since then, but your review reminded me why it was so awesome. I'll have to get another copy!

  3. Laureeeeen! Now there's another book I MUST READ. My bank account is getting less fond of you as the weeks go on ;)

    Awesome review, and I'm so glad you loved it. I agree that finding new books is one of the best parts of blogging!

  4. Great review! I really love how blogs have been able to spread the name of books I wouldn't have known of otherwise. I am adding this to my wishlist. :)


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