Cover art for The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
The Crane Wife is a story rooted in Japanese folklore and explores the pull of greed and the transformation and growth experienced in ordinary life as extraordinary people cross our paths.
Author Patrick Ness explores the dangers of relationships- business and personal – which leave one contributor exposed and vulnerable to exploitation, to exhaustion, when an unequal partnership persists.
The Crane Wife is Kumiko. She is one of those rare souls with a presence; she intimately knows, nurtures and inspires every person she meets.
Her complex feathered creations add to her husband George’s artistic paper cuttings and together their combined efforts stir interest, investment and great profit while simultaneously eroding a newly forged and tender marriage bond.
Each chapter introduces a story-tile which leads the reader through the ancient legend while simultaneously weaving Ness’ characters through his interpretation of self-sacrifice in a story filled with healthy and unhealthy relationships.
One of the enduring gifts of Ness’ book is his introduction to the physical sound of emotion. Unable to shake the painful calling of the injured crane, the call of life choices which transcend our natural resistance to change, The Crane Wife impresses even the most critical of readers in our crowd. Certainly, the sounds of temptations and truth linger in my mind.
I really, really love you.
His words caress the nape of her neck, so softly whispered as he holds her.
She is painfully aware of his tender attentions. She inhales him, she tastes him, in the sweet spill of his breath as his words pour softly, sensually, into her naked ear.
Willing to drop every bit of her defenses she lets him in, each time a little more deeply. She may be hurt ten-fold but she cannot resist this risk.
The keening escapes her lips as she accepts, then owns, her connection with him.
It is a sound unlike any other. The spring wind captures and carries her cry from the grassy banks, bathed in sunlight and dewdrops to the grounded rocks of the brook, and back to the nurturing, nascent, earth.
Washed in waters released from yesterday’s ice her lovesong is lifted- wet and fragrant- to the verdant blossoms of the old oaks on the shore.
The silence and smells of the dawn air are all broken; his traditional vows fall: obsolete. The grey seasons of his predictable tomorrows are now undeniably interrupted; and she responds with a sweet touch to his cheek.