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A Chickadee & A Raven Perched In A Tree

The Widow Of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

October 11, 2019

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

October is here and it’s time to shift reading gears. Witches, haunted castles, and dark stormy nights are my jam. I am not talking gore with a side of blood and guts. Just good old fashioned spooky that brings out a few goosebumps. Let’s face it, there is something ghostly about autumn on the rocky coast of Maine. I should know, I live here. Icy blue ocean waves and trees covered in autumn leaves are to be expected. It is the smell of the salty sea air mixed with wood burning in the distance that gives way to its allure. A beautiful and mysterious woman, a castle nestled in the hills and nights covered in blankets of fog make the perfect backdrop for a spooky tale. I just finished Hester Fox’s new book, The Widow of Pale Harbor, and guess what??????? It is reminiscent of all the above.  This book met all of my October reading needs. Here we go!!!!

The Widow of Pale Harbor is set in 1846, in the fictional town of Pale Harbor, Maine.  Sophronia Carver (love her name) is a widow of four years. She lives at Castle Carver with her maid, a server and a groundskeeper.  She spends her days running her late husband’s magazine and wandering her property. Here is her dilema. The people of Pale Harbor despise Sophronia.  They believe her to be a witch who murdered her own husband. Things start to get interesting when Gabriel Stone moves into town (swooooon) to become the new Transcendentalist minister.  As a romance blooms between Sophronia and Gabrielle, cryptic notes and dead things referencing Edgar Allan Poe’s creepiest stories start popping up. Who is responsible for all of these unfathomable happenings?  Is Sophronia the witch that everyone claims her to be? Can Gabrielle save her from the people of Pale Harbor and this mysterious hell?

The Widow of Pale Harbor is filled with mystery, romance and a gothic flare (Hello Robert Smith from The Cure…AKA my favorite band ever!).  By cleverly blending some of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories/poems (The Raven, The Devil in the Belfry, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, etc.) into this mystery, Fox’s story is a literary gem.  Plan on exploring Poe’s work during and after this book if you need a refresher (I sure did).  What I love about her book is that it is not overly gruesome. Dead bodies, a dark romance and picturesque settings fuel this suspenseful read.  The atmosphere is a satisfying blend of dark and gloomy with a touch of suspense. Though this story will not likely give you nightmares, it will leave you with an eerie feeling and a thirst for more haunted tales.  Fans of Daphne Maurier’s Rebecca will gobble this book up.  Happy Reading and Happy Fall!

Until next time Mr. H.

Your Biggest Fan,


P.S.  Fox’s Castle Carver is based on the real Castle Tucker in beautiful Wiscasset, Maine. Click here to check it out.

Click here to Purchase The Widow Of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

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