The Crane Husband

By Kelly Barnhill Pages: 120 Published: 2023

The book: Somewhere in the American Midwest, a teenage girl lives with her artist mother and young brother. She’s the backbone of the family and the one who holds everything together. One day her mother brings home a 6-foot-tall crane that is wearing shoes and a hat…

You might like it because: It is a short, beautifully written, fantastical, dark adult fairytale, which is hard to put down.

What did other people say?
 “In bleak but beautiful prose, Barnhill maintains the original fable’s examination of female exploitation at the hands of male partners and the limits of self-sacrifice…” – Publishers Weekly

“A slim little novella that packs a narrative punch more intense than that of many books ten times its length.”- NPR.

How quickly will you get into the book? This got my attention from the first paragraph when the crane walks in!

You might not like it because: The story takes place ostensibly in the USA, but the time period is unclear, and a lot of very strange things occur. 
If you don’t like dark stories, this is not the book for you. If fantasy or fairytales are not your thing, then move right along and pick up a different book. 

What might you read next?
If a mash-up of historical fiction and magical realism appeals to you, read The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson.

Or stick with adult fairytales and read The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune.

Alternatively, if you like very short books, then read the historical fiction novella, At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop.

© 2023