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2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

4 / 30 books. 13% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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My Progress:

14 / 51 states. 27% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

5 / 25 books. 20% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

17 / 50 books. 34% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

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19 / 52 books. 37% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

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22 / 52 books. 42% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

8 / 40 books. 20% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

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4 / 25 books. 16% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

13 / 25 books. 52% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

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24 / 109 books. 22% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Shivery Sophomore Novel A Liked-It-Didn't-Love-It Halloween Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

A year after his wife died in childbirth, Gabriel Stone is still wracked with grief.  Desperate to make a new start away from the memories that haunt his every step in Massachusetts, he accepts a position as a minister in the small town of Pale Harbor, Maine.  Hiding his own secrets, Gabriel soon becomes acquainted with the village's biggest mystery—Sophronia Carver.  The young widow, who's rumored to be everything from a witch to a heartless murderer, hides away in creepy Castle Carver, with only a gruff spinster housekeeper for company.  Intrigued by the sinister stories surrounding her, Gabriel seeks out Sophronia, who surprises him with her kindness, beauty, and intelligence.

When strange things start happening in Pale Harbor, the townspeople know immediately who's at fault—Widow Carver.  Gabriel doesn't believe it for a second.  Someone else is scaring people with Edgar Allen Poe-ish tricks.  Gabriel must find out who before all of Pale Harbor comes for Sophronia with pitchforks and torches.  They don't know her like he does, or do they?  What is the widow hiding?  And who is really behind the macabre doings in town?  Gabriel won't stop digging until he finds the truth.

I loved Hester Fox's debut novel, The Witch of Willow Hall, so when I was offered an early copy of her sophomore book to review, I accepted eagerly.  While The Widow of Pale Harbor shares many elements with its predecessor—a shivery, atmospheric setting; strong, creepy Gothic vibes; and a cast of interesting, sympathetic characters—I didn't enjoy it nearly as much.  I'm not sure why, but Fox's second effort just didn't impress me like her first did.  I still liked The Widow of Pale Harbor, I just didn't love it.  


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Widow of Pale Harbor from the generous folks at HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!
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