Tag Archives: Seattle

The Tale of Halcyon Crane

TitleThe Tale of Halcyon Crane

Author:  Wendy Webb

Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.,  March 2010

Summary: Hallie James has lived her life believing that her mother Madlyn was killed in a fire when Hallie was a small child. Now 35 years old, Hallie is dealing with her divorce and her father’s terminal illness. When she receives an envelope in the mail, she is shocked to find it contains a letter from her mother. As it turns out, Madlyn has lived the last 30 years believing that Hallie and her father were killed in a kayaking accident on the lake. The letter from Madlyn is accompanied by a letter from her attorney breaking the news that Madlyn has recently passed away. In order to find out why her father went to such lengths to keep her from her mother, Hallie travels to her mother’s home on Grand Manitou, a remote island in the Great Lakes. It isn’t long before Hallie realizes that something supernatural inhabits the mansion and grounds which she has just inherited.

The Tale of Halcyon Crane is an unnerving ghost story that’s setting on a secluded island makes it even creepier.

Who will like this book? Ghost story aficionados.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

The Other

TitleThe Other

Author:  David Guterson

Summary: David Guterson, the author of the PEN/Faulkner-winning Snow Falling on Cedars, has written an exquisite story about a transcendent friendship between two very different men.  John William Barry and Neil Countryman cross paths at a high school track event, and that chance meeting connects them for the rest of their lives.  While Neil comes from a modest background and leads a modest life, John William is a child of privilege and wealth.  Together the two share their love of hiking and the outdoors – we are treated to some beautifully written passages describing the wilds of the Pacific Northwest – and share  a bond, a literal blood oath, that is unbreakable, even as their lives continue in seemingly opposite directions. Neil becomes a teacher, marries and has a family, but John William retreats from society, moving permanently into a cave deep in the woods.  Neil is the only one who knows where he is, and keeps this secret even though it weighs heavily on him.  John William rewards him for this ultimate act of friendship him in an unfathomable way.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word ‘other’ as “being the one left.”  It may seem as though John William is the other in this relationship simply by his act of becoming a hermit.  But Neil is also an ‘other,’ the half that stays behind, lives the conventional life, and yet is haunted by the same question that John William struggles with – what is it that really matters in life.  It appears as though they are each living the opposite answers to that question.  In doing so, they complete each other.

Who will like this book?  Anyone who enjoyed Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

If you like this try: East of the Mountains by David Guterson

Recommended by: Mary, Reference Librarian