Are you looking for a gothic suspense novel set in Maine? Don’t skip this book review of The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox.
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The Widow of Pale Harbor Book Information
We would personally like to thank Graydon House Books for sending us a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Title: The Widow of Pale Harbor
Author: Hester Fox
Genre: Gothic Fiction | Book Set In Maine | Historical Fiction | Suspense
Imprint: Graydon House Books
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The Widow Of Pale Harbor Summary
Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.
But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town.
Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver.
Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.
As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.
And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.Graydon House
TUL Review Of The Widow Of Pale Harbor
Hester Fox, the author of The Witch of Willow Hall, is back at it with another ghostly story filled with witchcraft, romance, and murder.
The Widow of Pale Harbor is one of Fox’s latest books and new book releases of 2019.
What love story wouldn’t be complete without a murder mystery to complicate relationships even more?
Imagine injured crows, dead animals popping up at doorsteps, someone excavating your husband’s grave, and a spinster on a hill. Gosh, women were so evil in 1846.
If all of this sounds intriguing, keep reading for a full review of The Widow of Pale Harbor to see who can save Pale Harbor from the person responsible for cursing it.
Oh, and did we mention that there is a creepy literary aspect too? All of the murders are based on Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems.
A Creepy and Witchy Gothic Fiction Tale Set In Maine in 1846
Sophronia Carver lives at eerie Castle Carver overlooking the cliffs of Pale Harbor. Widowed and a woman accused of murdering her wealthy husband, she sits trapped in self-imprisonment with her servant, Helen.
Helen is much more than a spinster widow with a knack for spells and undefined feelings for Sophronia. Something odd simmers between the two outcasts and alleged occultists.
Running her husband’s literary magazine keeps Sophronia sane until terrifying and harassing gifts land at her front door: hurt crows and candles with life-threatening notes.
Are these the cruel acts of bored school children or some sinister and conservative revenge from townsmen?
Did we mention Sophronia is gorgeous too?
A Gust Of Wind Blows In A Hunky Minister With An Penchant For Scandalous Women
What is a pretty widow with walls literally and figuratively around her to do when a handsome and mysterious Trandescendalist minister rolls into town?
Enter Gabriel Stone, an alleged minister escaping the sudden passing of his not-so-innocent wife. Warned that Sophronia is a murderous witch, he cannot stay away.
Wildly popular stories are irresistible when the town can’t seem to shut up about Sophy.
Watch as Sophy and Gabe’s love story transpires (or expires) amidst solving a murder mystery. Townspeople are dropping like fruit flies into our wine, and Sophronia is next on the list.
The creepiest part? All of the murders match scenes from Poe’s stories and poems. Who is this twisted person inspired by Poe? You know those tales are gruesome AF.
Who Will Stay Up All Night Reading This Gothic Murder Mystery?
1. Lovers Of Salem Witch Trial Books Will Devour The Widow of Pale Harbor
If books about the Salem Witch Trials intrigue you, The Widow of Pale Harbor will offer you a new take on mass hysteria and the jealously surrounding mysteriously beautiful and powerful women.
Pale Harbor is a sleepy town gripped by fear and controlled by hatred. Sophronia is a dynamic feminist who struggles through lies, deceit, anxiety, and downright hostility.
The small town of Pale Harbor is frustratingly blind and condemning.
And yes, there are witches — or a witch — in this historical fiction title. From the start, readers learn that Helen is a master of charms and killer potions.
2. Romance Enthusiasts Who Don’t Want Fluff Will Enjoy Hester Fox Books
Hester Fox is happily a repeat author for us. TUL reviewed her other title, The Witch of Willow Hall, in 2018.
We never knew gothic romance paired with historical fiction could be so powerful until Fox. Similar to The Witch of Willow Hall, The Widow of Pale Harbor incorporates love that might not survive the story.
However, while the romance is even more steamy in The Widow of Pale Harbor, it’s not eye-roll-worthy. Love ignites with the mystery and deadly literary Poe elements.
Plus, in our opinion, there might be some LGBT+ elements at play here, but that is debatable.
3. The Widow of Pale Harbor Is For Readers Who Enjoy Women’s Fiction
Once again like The Witch of Willow Hall, Fox presents readers with a series of dynamic women. You have servants, friends, and scorned lovers.
There are affairs, romances, and of course, walls and massive stereotypes. Fox works hard to paint an accurate picture of mid-1800 society for women.
Sophronia most reminds us of Agnes in Burial Rites by Hannah Kent–a mysterious and attractive leading lady accused as an accomplice to murder.
Similarly to Agnes, witchcraft and beauty breed jealousy-inspired death sentences.
Watch as these women rise and fall while supporting each other and tearing each other to pieces. Who will come out with their head held up high and not slit across the throat…
4. History Lovers Will Eat Up The Widow of Pale Harbor: Castle Carver Is Based On IRL Castle Tucker
Lastly, history lovers will enjoy The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox. Castle Carver is based on Castle Tucker located in Wiscasset, Maine.
Castle Tucker is a Victorian home overlooking the sea and built in the early 1800s. Visitors can seasonally visit the castle in the fall and learn about its three generations of inhabitants.
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More About The Author, Hester Fox
When not working as a collections maintenance technician for museums, Hester Fox is an author and artist. Hester lives outside Boston and has a background in Medieval studies and historical archeology.
Read more about Hester Fox
Where You Can Find The Witch Of Willow Hall On TUL
Christine (she/her) is the owner, lead editor, and tipsy book sommelier of The Uncorked Librarian LLC, an online literary publication showcasing books and movies to inspire travel and home to the famed Uncorked Reading Challenge.
With a BA in English & History from Smith College, an MLIS from USF-Tampa, and a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Christine's back pocket, there isn't a bookstore, library, or winery that can hide from her. Christine loves brewery yoga, adopting all of the kitties, and a glass of oaked Chardonnay. Charcuterie is her favorite food group.