The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox ~ 384 pages ~ to be published 9/17/19 by Graydon House
A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?
Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.
But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.
As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.
What I Thought:
*Thank you to both Harlequin for reaching out to me for a review of The Widow of Pale Harbor, and NetGalley for the digital ARC! I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.*
I have been an Edgar Allan Poe fan since high school, when our theater department put on a production of Nevermore. It started me on a love of gothic literature. This is a huge part of why I love Hester Fox’s writing so much – it is so beautifully gothic. The moody, atmospheric feel of her prose is so much fun to read. I was a huge fan of her first novel, The Witch of Willow Hall (read my review for it here!), so I was really excited when I received the ARC for The Widow of Pale Harbor.
I really loved Sophronia. She was such a great character. She was afraid of so many things, but she was still such a strong presence throughout the novel, which I appreciated. I loved how she grew and changed as the novel went along. I did like Gabriel, but he fell a little more flat for me. He did have some growth, but I wanted him to be a bit more fleshed out like Sophronia was. Fanny and Tom were my favorite side characters. They were both sweet and humorous, and provided a nice counter-balance to the more serious main characters.
I really enjoyed the mystery of this novel. Tying in Poe’s poetry and short stories as the inspiration for the various crimes committed in the novel was brilliant. It certainly helped to lend to the gothic atmosphere of the world of Pale Harbor. I will say, I figured out “who-done-it” somewhat early on, but I was never 100% sure I was right. So, the big reveal at the end was still very satisfying for me! By the last quarter of the book, I was flying through, wanting to know how it all ended!
If you are into gothic novels, historical fiction, mysteries, and having a nice romance thrown into the mix, you will love The Widow of Pale Harbor!
I gave The Widow of Pale Harbor 4.5 STARS!
Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!
Have you read Hester Fox’s first book, The Witch of Willow Hall? Are you a fan of Edgar Allan Poe? Do you love a good, gothic novel? Let’s talk down in the comments!
Love and happy reading,