Thursday 7 March 2024

THE CRANE HUSBAND by Kelly Barnhill

The Crane HusbandThe Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was in the mood for another novella and decided to get stuck into this one because I love stories featuring birds in some way.

When the mother of a fifteen-year-old girl brings home a crane that's as tall as a man, their way of life changes instantly. Her mother starts neglecting both of her children, and looks more beaten down every day. But this teenager isn't about to give up or give in...

Well, this is one dark and very surreal story that deals with some pretty heavy stuff. Child neglect. Domestic violence. Corporations taking over the farming industry. Denial.

It's like a fever dream that pulls the reader deep into the depths of desperation.

We never find out the narrator's actual name, although she uses the name Bruce for business purposes. Her tenacity to keep the family together and protect her little brother drives most of her motivation to keep the house functioning even when her mother sabotages everything for her new 'man'.

This is a sombre and very bleak fairy tale with some disturbing imagery that leads to quite an unsettling conclusion.

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