A House of Cranes

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Pub Date Apr 01 2024 | Archive Date Jul 31 2024

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In 1963, Lucius Cook, an eleven-year-old orphan, comes to live with a lawyer, Kenneth Crane, and his family at their stately Victorian home in the affluent suburbs of Hartford, Connecticut. Quiet and precocious, Lucius is in awe of his surroundings. He discovers he shares Mr. Crane’s creative passion for photography. The Crane’s clever daughter, Beatrice, keeps Lucius on his toes, while the lawyer’s stunning and aloof wife, Eleanor, captivates him. As time passes, his curiosity for Eleanor, twenty years his senior, grows from spellbound boyhood fascination to a young man’s deep consuming desire. Charmed by amorous illusions, love and happiness elude Lucius, and he wonders if he will ever know what they truly mean.

In 1963, Lucius Cook, an eleven-year-old orphan, comes to live with a lawyer, Kenneth Crane, and his family at their stately Victorian home in the affluent suburbs of Hartford, Connecticut. Quiet and...

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ISBN 9798988515326
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Average rating from 8 members

Featured Reviews

I couldn’t put this book down. The characters are intriguing and interesting and written so well. I think the story is captivating. I wanted to know more about the characters and their personalities. The way they interact as a family made me cringe at times but at others my heart breaks for them. Well done. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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A House of Cranes, by James Walter Lee, was an unexpected read—neither the cover nor the description of what is contained within prepared me for the unfolding story. The characters are relatable, and some are hateable. The actions are of love and sometimes horribly unacceptable, but sadly, they are realistic in some lives. It was a difficult read at times, but a recommended one. Thanks, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing me with the ARC ebook I read and reviewed. All opinions are my own.

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Wow. I had no idea what I was getting into when I read this book. It is beautiful, sad, erotic and twisted. After poor Lucius's parents pass in a tragic car accident, a lawyer, Mr. Crane, decides to allow him to stay on his large estate with his new wife and daughter. He introduces Lucius to his passion of photography. Lucius picks it up quickly and has a new passion and talent.
There is A LOT of sex in this book. Some disturbing, but the story itself is a good one and you will press on to see how this family navigates its oddness throughout.
Thank you Net Galley for the ARC.

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What to say about 'A House of Cranes'? It is like watching a genre-defying movie like 'The Virgin Suicides' or 'American Beauty.' It is not for everyone. Where I read it from it has an erotica label. I'm not sure that is a great label for it. For, while there is some graphic sexual scenes, it is not particularly titillating. So what genre? Indie-modern-coming-of-age-literary fiction perhaps?

The story revolves around a lower income boy coming to live with a wealthier family after his parents die then follows him through adulthood. He becomes fascinated by the adopted family's wife and photography. The two leading him through his adolescents and into adulthood coming to grips with his past and that of his adopted family's.

I enjoyed the story and felt the younger characters were given life within their complicated upbringing. The first portion of the book is from the perspective of the main character when he is around ten. Being in that head space as he views the world and awakens sexually is uncomfortable but lays the ground work for the rest of the story as he becomes an adult. I would have liked for the female characters to have a little more so you could understand their motivations, but as the story is Lucius's to tell he was a bit mystified by them so perhaps the could not quite articulate that either.

If you enjoy a slow burn, darkly plotted coming of age story that spans decades this one is for you. Again, not particularly arousing, but you should be aware there are some sexual scenes that definitely go outside of normative boundaries.

Thank you @Netgalley and Zennea Press for early access to this ARC in return for an unbiased and voluntary review.

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