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The Widow of Pale Harbor

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A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself? 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. Stra A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself? 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.


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A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself? 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. Stra A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself? 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.

30 review for The Widow of Pale Harbor

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **4.5-stars** A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself? Welcome to Pale Harbor, Maine, 1846, where a young widow, Sophronia Carver, haunts the halls of her mansion by the sea. Castle Carver, so her home is named, goes unvisited by the locals as they believe Sophronia to be a witch. They also suspect she killed her late husband, magazine magnate, Nathaniel Carver. Shunned and mistreated, Sophronia shuts herself off from the rest of society. Having inherited her husband's magazine upon his death, she spends he**4.5-stars** **4.5-stars** A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself? Welcome to Pale Harbor, Maine, 1846, where a young widow, Sophronia Carver, haunts the halls of her mansion by the sea. Castle Carver, so her home is named, goes unvisited by the locals as they believe Sophronia to be a witch. They also suspect she killed her late husband, magazine magnate, Nathaniel Carver. Shunned and mistreated, Sophronia shuts herself off from the rest of society. Having inherited her husband's magazine upon his death, she spends her days reading submissions, drinking tea and taking short walks on the cliffs of her property. Sophronia's only company, her loyal domestic staff made up of one lady's maid, a serving girl and a groundskeeper. Her maid, Helen, is more than just a maid however, she is a trusted companion who takes her task of caring for Sophronia quite seriously. When a new transcendentalist minister, Gabriel Stone, a widower himself, arrives in the sleepy town, he takes an interest in the case of the secluded woman. After visiting with her, he finds her to be quite charming and quickly becomes smitten. Soon dark events push the two of them further together and things really begin to take off. Someone is out to get Sophronia, leaving cryptic messages and dead things for her to find. The clues all relate to different poems and stories by Edgar Allen Poe. When cryptic messages turn to murder and Sophronia is the main suspect, she and Gabriel team up to investigate the crimes on their own. With equal parts Mystery and Romance, this Historical Fiction novel is steeped in the gothic atmosphere that I love. Set on the rocky coast of Maine, this is a perfect book to pick up during this most wonderful season of the year, AUTUMN. I really enjoyed Sophronia as a character. She was not dealt an easy hand but took all that was thrown at her with a quiet grace that truly set her apart from those around her. She was sweet and caring and although misunderstood and mistreated by the townsfolk, she never became jaded or vengeful. Gabriel, as well, was great. Although a bit mysterious, and perhaps not exactly what he was purporting to be, he was strong and caring. I loved watching him and Sophronia learn to confide in each other and trust one another. They both really needed someone on their side and as a duo, they paired quite nicely. As the pace is picking up, we also have an old friend of Gabriel's arrive for a visit, Tom. He was fantastic. He brought a flirty good humor to the story that was much as the action was getting dark. Gabriel and Tom had such a strong friendship, it was great to see that on page between two grown men. Very well done indeed. I also appreciated the complex relationship between Sophronia and Helen. I don't want to get into this too much as it could be a bit of a spoiler but let's just say that, in truth, it was not a healthy relationship. Dedicated, to be sure, but also quite codependent. Helen was great to read. She is surrounded in mystery and quite creepy. She definitely adds a lot to the story! Overall, I adored this book. While it did start out a little slow, once it picked up the pace was incredible. I always appreciate a slow burn and this one would certainly fall into that category. I would have enjoyed a bit more atmosphere, particularly surrounding Castle Carver itself, but that is definitely a personal taste issue and no reflection on the actual story. Thank you so much to the publisher, Graydon House Books, for providing me with an early copy of this book to read and review. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. In my opinion, Hester Fox is an absolute blessing and this book helped cement her status as an auto-buy author for me. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Maine 1846 Accusations of witchcraft, suspicious villagers, someone inspired by Poe's writings is leaving threatening and strange things around town, and everyone believes that only one woman could be responsible - Sophronia Carver, a rich widower who lives in Carver Castle. The villagers believe the reclusive widow killed her husband and lives a solitary life with her maid. Gabriel Stone has arrived in town after taking on the position as the town's new Minister. He has left Massachu Maine 1846 Accusations of witchcraft, suspicious villagers, someone inspired by Poe's writings is leaving threatening and strange things around town, and everyone believes that only one woman could be responsible - Sophronia Carver, a rich widower who lives in Carver Castle. The villagers believe the reclusive widow killed her husband and lives a solitary life with her maid. Gabriel Stone has arrived in town after taking on the position as the town's new Minister. He has left Massachusetts after his wife's death and wants a fresh start. Almost immediately, he is drawn into the strange happenings around the town and hears the gossip about Sophronia Carver. Having met her, he believes surely, they are wrong. Or has he fallen under her spell? Could there be someone else targeting Sophronia? Is she a witch? Is someone close to her plotting her harm? This was a Gothic romance/mystery which worked very well blended together. I loved the references to Poe and the clues left behind inspired by his work. This book is the perfect read for October and is atmospheric, chilling, and wonderfully written. I had a strong suspicion about whodunit almost from the beginning, it didn't affect my enjoyment of this book in any way. I found the pacing to be spot on. Nothing felt rushed or drawn out. The characters were enjoyable and interesting. A great read for a chilly fall day. *Traveling Sisters/Traveling Friends Buddy Read

  3. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Hauntingly beautiful and exquisitely told. Hester Fox's Second novel is as stunning and atmospheric as her first. The perfect story to kick off your fall reading, an absorbing tale full of mystery and gloom with a Gothic vibe. Miss Fox's elegant and descriptive writing completely transported me too 1840s Pale Harbor, Maine. A small town brimming with Mystery and secrets. When Gabriel arrives in town determined to redeem himself, he finds himself caught up in The town's gossip, rumors, and accusa Hauntingly beautiful and exquisitely told. Hester Fox's Second novel is as stunning and atmospheric as her first. The perfect story to kick off your fall reading, an absorbing tale full of mystery and gloom with a Gothic vibe. Miss Fox's elegant and descriptive writing completely transported me too 1840s Pale Harbor, Maine. A small town brimming with Mystery and secrets. When Gabriel arrives in town determined to redeem himself, he finds himself caught up in The town's gossip, rumors, and accusations. Sophronia has been a reclusive since the death of her husband, a death that the town seems to blame her for. When Gabriel meets Sophronia he is immediately taken with her and when strange things start happening and Sophronia is blamed he is determined to prove the town wrong.

 I was completely swept away by this mesmerizing story. Sophronia was such a remarkable character, A beautiful soul with a quiet grace that completely drew me in. Gabriel was wounded and flawed as well as strong and supportive. All the creepy happenings around town were somehow tied to the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. I was not previously tremendously familiar with Poe's works, but WOW he was so twisted! I thought this was done so well and added an additional haunting layer to the story. An evocative story, equal parts mystery and romance with a satisfying ending.

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  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Thanks to Harlequin Graydon House for the complimentary copy. In Maine in the 1800s, Gabriel Stone is haunted after his wife dies, so he moves to Pale Harbor, an isolated village, as the new minister. Pale Harbor is as haunting and atmospheric as that cover. There’s a sense of foreboding and darkness from the start. Sophronia Carver must be to blame for all the bad things happening town. In fact, she must be a witch. It becomes apparent that everything happening relates bac Thanks to Harlequin Graydon House for the complimentary copy. In Maine in the 1800s, Gabriel Stone is haunted after his wife dies, so he moves to Pale Harbor, an isolated village, as the new minister. Pale Harbor is as haunting and atmospheric as that cover. There’s a sense of foreboding and darkness from the start. Sophronia Carver must be to blame for all the bad things happening town. In fact, she must be a witch. It becomes apparent that everything happening relates back to the stories of Edgar Allen Poe. I LOVED this aspect! In middle school, I was taught several of the works of Poe by an enthusiastic English teacher who loved is creepy stories. I couldn’t help but love them too. This book connected to the stories in the most unique of ways. Overall, The Widow of Pale Harbor is the perfect atmospheric book to kick off fall reading. Hester Fox has delivered another solid Gothic mystery. Many of my reviews can also be found on instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  5. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: Tonight, she and Helen would eat a small supper in silence— they had few words left to say that weren’t old and stale, used up over the years… If he was going to be an even half-convincing minister, he was going to have to curb his vulgar habit of cursing. But then the conversation took an even more horrifying turn. “Are you married, Gabriel?” Suspicion had followed her about like a cloud threatening rain… My Review: This cl Favorite Quotes: Tonight, she and Helen would eat a small supper in silence— they had few words left to say that weren’t old and stale, used up over the years… If he was going to be an even half-convincing minister, he was going to have to curb his vulgar habit of cursing. But then the conversation took an even more horrifying turn. “Are you married, Gabriel?” Suspicion had followed her about like a cloud threatening rain… My Review: This clever wordsmith is exceptionally skilled at creating and maintaining an eerie and smoky atmosphere that was taut with tension and unease yet pregnant with an odd and incongruent mixture of hopeful anticipation and nightmarish dread. Strange incidents, ghastly crimes, and gruesome discoveries were occurring at an advancing rate, it quickly became quite clear that something vile and sinister was settling over the narrow and backward little hamlet of Pale Harbor. The elements of mystery and suspense were well-crafted and exceptionally well-paced as the creepiness factor zigged and zagged unexpectedly with sudden leaps and abrupt interruptions. I was riveted to my Kindle. And amid all these alarming and bizarre occurrences, a romance blossomed between the new minister who frequently swore and delivered abysmal sermons – although not at the same time - and the town outcast and suspected witch/murderess. It was divine. In addition to an engaging read and a day's worth of entertainment, I also gleaned new knowledge as I was compelled to consult Mr. Google about transcendentalism and Unitarianism, which apparently resulted in falling through a wormhole and losing track of a significant chunk of time, funny how that happens.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Maine 1846 Accusations of witchcraft, suspicious villagers, someone inspired by Poe's writings is leaving threatening and strange things around town, and everyone believes that only one woman could be responsible - Sophronia Carver, a rich widower who lives in Carver Castle. The villagers believe the reclusive widow killed her husband and lives a solitary life with her maid. Gabriel Stone has arrived in town after taking on the position as the town's new Minister. He has le Maine 1846 Accusations of witchcraft, suspicious villagers, someone inspired by Poe's writings is leaving threatening and strange things around town, and everyone believes that only one woman could be responsible - Sophronia Carver, a rich widower who lives in Carver Castle. The villagers believe the reclusive widow killed her husband and lives a solitary life with her maid. Gabriel Stone has arrived in town after taking on the position as the town's new Minister. He has left Massachusetts after his wife's death and wants a fresh start. Almost immediately, he is drawn into the strange happenings around the town and hears the gossip about Sophronia Carver. Having met her, he believes surely, they are wrong. Or has he fallen under her spell? Could there be someone else targeting Sophronia? Is she a witch? Is someone close to her plotting her harm? This was a Gothic romance/mystery which worked very well blended together. I loved the references to Poe and the clues left behind inspired by his work. This book is the perfect read for October and is atmospheric, chilling, and wonderfully written. I had a strong suspicion about whodunit almost from the beginning, it didn't affect my enjoyment of this book in any way. I found the pacing to be spot on. Nothing felt rushed or drawn out. The characters were enjoyable and interesting. A great read for a chilly fall day. *Traveling Sisters/Traveling Friends Buddy Read

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends

    Last year around this time I read The Witch of Willow Hall with a few of my Traveling Sisters it was a hit for us and we thought it was a great one for this time of year. I read The Widow of Pale Harbor with a couple of my TS and it was also a hit for us. I did enjoy The Widow of Pale Harbor a bit more. I highly recommend both. Things did start off a little rocky for me here with the strange unsettling things going on in this town and I was reading with one eye closed hiding behind my pillow. So Last year around this time I read The Witch of Willow Hall with a few of my Traveling Sisters it was a hit for us and we thought it was a great one for this time of year. I read The Widow of Pale Harbor with a couple of my TS and it was also a hit for us. I did enjoy The Widow of Pale Harbor a bit more. I highly recommend both. Things did start off a little rocky for me here with the strange unsettling things going on in this town and I was reading with one eye closed hiding behind my pillow. Soon things started to come together and I start to see how that is cleverly weaved into the story. The Widow of Pale Harbor has all the elements to make this a creepy good gothic atmospheric read. It has an entertaining and engaging mystery that had us all following the clues with a little help from Debra who set us on the right track with those clues. The romance in this one was perfectly done and I was enjoying the dynamics with that. I was swept away to this historic Maine 1846 setting and the castle and town came alive for me with that creepy, foreboding feeling. Near the end, the drama and action pick up and I was a little worried my drama patience was going to go over the edge, however, the story kept me on the edge of the cliff and brought me safely to a satisfying ending. Traveling sister friend read. You can find our discussion here. Spoilers are used. Did you love this one too or? Join in and let us know your thoughts. https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/... I received a copy from the publisher.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hester Fox

    My second book will be available September 17, 2019 (October for the UK), and I'm so excited for you to meet Sophronia and Gabriel! Everything they say about the second book being the hardest to write is true, so while it was sometimes a struggle, I'm so pleased with how it came out and really hope that you enjoy it. A great big Thank You to everyone who read The Witch Of Willow Hall and have come back for The Widow Of Pale Harbor- your support means everything <3 For content warni My second book will be available September 17, 2019 (October for the UK), and I'm so excited for you to meet Sophronia and Gabriel! Everything they say about the second book being the hardest to write is true, so while it was sometimes a struggle, I'm so pleased with how it came out and really hope that you enjoy it. A great big Thank You to everyone who read The Witch Of Willow Hall and have come back for The Widow Of Pale Harbor- your support means everything <3 For content warnings, please visit my website. If you encounter a sensitive subject in the book that you think should be included on this list, please let me know and I will add it. http://www.hesterfox.com/content-warn...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    3.5 stars. Eerie. Haunting. Mysterious. Atmospheric. 1846: Gabriel Stone arrives in the small town of Pale Harbor to take the position of minister in the neglected local church. Villagers are hesitant to trust Gabriel. He must face their uncertainty with confidence in the hopes to overcome gossipy local legends in the small town full of deeply rooted suspicions and secrets. From the start I felt a deep sense of foreboding and intrigue. The rich atmosphere and haunting chara 3.5 stars. Eerie. Haunting. Mysterious. Atmospheric. 1846: Gabriel Stone arrives in the small town of Pale Harbor to take the position of minister in the neglected local church. Villagers are hesitant to trust Gabriel. He must face their uncertainty with confidence in the hopes to overcome gossipy local legends in the small town full of deeply rooted suspicions and secrets. From the start I felt a deep sense of foreboding and intrigue. The rich atmosphere and haunting characters drew me in and kept me curious to the very end. The pace did slow down after the halfway mark where I felt some repetition and drawn out scenes, however, my curiosity didn’t waver. There is a strong sense of romance throughout the book which, at times, was a bit more than my liking, but it didn’t take away from the atmospheric suspense. An easy and entertaining gothic mystery! A Traveling Friends read that we all enjoyed! Thank you to HarperCollins for sending me a physical copy to read and review!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Gothic novels are my catnip. I think they're probably the genre of book I probably enjoy most because of the creepiness and the meticulous plotting that goes in to creating not just the mystery element but also the atmosphere. But, like all books, the Gothic genre has its hits and its misses, and this was more miss than hit. THE WIDOW OF PALE HARBOR starts out promisingly enough in the way that it introduces our two main characters. Sophronia is haunted by the (figurative) ghost of he Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Gothic novels are my catnip. I think they're probably the genre of book I probably enjoy most because of the creepiness and the meticulous plotting that goes in to creating not just the mystery element but also the atmosphere. But, like all books, the Gothic genre has its hits and its misses, and this was more miss than hit. THE WIDOW OF PALE HARBOR starts out promisingly enough in the way that it introduces our two main characters. Sophronia is haunted by the (figurative) ghost of her dead abusive husband, and struggles with her agoraphobia in her isolated mansion on the hill. Everyone thinks that she's a witch who probably murdered her husband, and the fact that her house servant practices herblore certainly doesn't help matters. Lately, she's been the victim of cruel pranks involving letters, ravens (dead and alive), and effigies, intent on making her squirm. Gabriel is a man who has come to the small village of Pale Harbor to be a minister of Transcendentalism. He is doing this, despite a very painful lack of any religious training of any kind in homage to his late wife, who was fascinated by the religious movement and wanted him to practice the beautiful words that he used to transcribe for mere pennies. By preaching, he hopes that he will be able to honor her in death as he was unable to in life-- until he meets Sophronia. The biggest detriment to this book is the insta-love between the hero and heroine. In the beginning, I was very much on board with the claustrophobic small town vibe, spiritual and religious and taking god-fearing to extremes that had the faintest whiff of witch-hunting fervor from the century prior. I could have even bought the doomed romance, had it been spaced out a bit, but with both parties being widowed, and haunted by their spouse's passings (albeit for different reasons), it felt a bit weird that they would be so eager to leap into a new relationship, given what we knew of their characters. As for the mystery element, that was what I liked best about this book, although it wasn't quite the dark and disturbing read I'd wished for. The Edgar Allen Poe-inspired pranks and murders that had me picking up this book in the first place definitely don't quite capture that breathless horror that had Poe terrorizing the Victorians back in the day. I didn't actually guess who the culprit was until the end, so that was nice, but the ending was anticlimactic and falls prey to the usual "bad guy" tropes. THE WIDOW OF PALE HARBOR is not a bad book, but it isn't a standout in the genre, either. It's bland, it's blah, but that's okay. Pick this up if you want a quick, breezy read that will pass an afternoon without too much brain drain, just as long as you don't mind a syrupy, saccharine serving of romance paired alongside your milquetoast murder mystery. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 2.5 to 3 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Maine, 1846, Sophronia Carver is the mysterious widow living on the cliff tops at her home Castle Carver with her only trusted companion, Maid Helen. Her husband, magazine owner, Nathaniel died a few years ago and the locals believe that Sophronia killed him and that she is a witch. Sophronia doesn’t venture into the village of Pale Harbour anymore due to her anxiety. When Nathaniel died she became the owner of the magazine company and now spends her days rea Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Maine, 1846, Sophronia Carver is the mysterious widow living on the cliff tops at her home Castle Carver with her only trusted companion, Maid Helen. Her husband, magazine owner, Nathaniel died a few years ago and the locals believe that Sophronia killed him and that she is a witch. Sophronia doesn’t venture into the village of Pale Harbour anymore due to her anxiety. When Nathaniel died she became the owner of the magazine company and now spends her days reading submissions for the magazine and going for walks on her property. Gabriel Stone has arrived in Pale Harbour under the pretence that he is the new transcendentalist minister. The real one died on route and Gabriel saw his opportunity to do some good and to fulfil his late wife’s wishes. He is told all about the goings-on in Pale Harbour, the daily troubles and that ‘witch’ Sophronia must be behind them. He is advised to stay away from her, but Gabriel wants to see for himself what this elusive woman is like, he is surprised when she is nothing like what the people say and an attraction forms between the pair. With dark events happening in the village the locals all turn on Sophronia but can Gabriel and Sophronia work together to prove that she is not a ‘witch’ or behind the goings-on and find out who really is causing trouble in Pale Harbour? The Widow of Pale Harbour is a Gothic tale following the works of Edgar Allen Poe. The story is a cross between a love story and a darkly mysterious, historical tale. I’m not that familiar with Edgar Allen Poe’s stories, though I do know some of his poems. Sophronia is a lovely young woman, misunderstood and carrying a lot of grief on her shoulders. She cuts herself off from the world and focuses all her energy on going through the submissions for the magazine, trying to keep it in business. Gabriel is a man who deeply misses his deceased wife and blames himself for her death during childbirth. He wants to do some good in the world and although he doesn’t actually believe in everything about transcendentalism or that there are no bad in people only good ones, he’s willing to follow and preach the religion as that is what his wife would have wanted. The two characters paired together perfectly and I loved the way they were with one another, both had been through hardship and grief at a young age, so they both could understand one another completely. The book was very atmospheric and you could feel the cold, harsh weather of Pale Harbour which sent shivers down my spine whilst reading. I loved the dark, Gothic feel to the book and the mystery surrounding the happenings in the village. The book has been beautifully written and I flew threw it, not wanting to put it down. Hester Fox is an amazing writer and I have enjoyed both of her books, I do hope that there will be many more to come. With the early dark nights looming ever closer, this book is the perfect read for a winter’s night.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

    I was expecting a mysterious gothic masterpiece and what I actually got was a historical romance with some mystery thrown in. Nothing wrong with that at all but I felt the blurb here was a tad misleading. So Sophronia Carver is a young widow who lives in Carver castle in the town of Pale harbor. The entire town thinks her a murderer and a witch. Gabriel is the new minister practising transcendentalism he has moved for a fresh start after the death of his wife in childbirth. When these two meet they forge a strong connection further amplified by Gabriel's prote I was expecting a mysterious gothic masterpiece and what I actually got was a historical romance with some mystery thrown in. Nothing wrong with that at all but I felt the blurb here was a tad misleading. So Sophronia Carver is a young widow who lives in Carver castle in the town of Pale harbor. The entire town thinks her a murderer and a witch. Gabriel is the new minister practising transcendentalism he has moved for a fresh start after the death of his wife in childbirth. When these two meet they forge a strong connection further amplified by Gabriel's protectiveness towards the young widow. This is also has a budding romance a slow burn one, the whole story is quite clean in nature with one intimate scene and a couple of kisses. So strange things are afoot in Pale Harbor and the whole town is pointing the finger in Sophy's direction, after all, she is the local witch according to the town gossips. But it's not long before events escalate and it becomes clear that Sophy is the main target of this vendetta of hatred. With a dwindling suspect pool, Sophy even suspects her long-time devoted maid Helen. Helen despite her spells and charms claims only to have her mistresses best interests at heart and the more she tries to drive a wedge between Sophy and Gabriel the more she unintentionally pushes them together. So I did find this to be a tad slow and plodding and it never really got off the ground for me hence my final rating. So I had a few issues with this I think one of the main ones was I never really took to Sophy herself I found her to be quite self-absorbed and I disliked the way she treated Helen even referring to her as pathetic in conversation with Gabriel. Helen was a bloody nightmare at times but Sophy has allowed and enabled this behaviour and the woman was only trying to look after Sophy in the only way she knew how. I also thought Gabriel's pedestal that he had put his dead wife on needed a sharp kick to the foundations. When I learned her past actions towards her husband it just made Gabriel look like a complete and utter doormat, not understanding and decent like I think the author intended just please walk all over me. Also, people here made the dumbest choices they deserved to be murdered in my opinion Sophy was a complete moron in that regard she did everything you are not supposed to and in real life, she definitely would have been a gonna. The prose itself here was lovely I'll say that but the rest for me fell flat and the ultimate mystery left me completely cold. The writing itself here was fine but as I said earlier this was a bit of a miss for me which is a shame as I wanted so much to like this more than I did. If you like the cleaner historical gothic romances this one might be a fit for you. I voluntary reviewed a copy of The Widow of Pale Harbor. Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/ www.beckiebookworm.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Book of Secrets°ღ

    I need this book right now! I'm swooning over the blurb and cover. I. Can't. Wait. Until. September. ♥

  14. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Sophronia Carver never felt welcome y the people of Pale Harbour. Her husband was cruel and when he died, the local people thought that she had murdered him. They even think that she might be a witch. Then strange things start to happen and the locals believe Sophronia is behind it all. Sophronia leads a solitary life. She o ly has her maid, Helen for company. Then she meets Gabriel. Other are suspicious of each other but then then start to ond. Set in Maine in 1846. It took me a litt Sophronia Carver never felt welcome y the people of Pale Harbour. Her husband was cruel and when he died, the local people thought that she had murdered him. They even think that she might be a witch. Then strange things start to happen and the locals believe Sophronia is behind it all. Sophronia leads a solitary life. She o ly has her maid, Helen for company. Then she meets Gabriel. Other are suspicious of each other but then then start to ond. Set in Maine in 1846. It took me a little while to get into this book. The pace is slow at first. With many twists, it's shockingly dark and intriguing. I was second guessing everything. A gothic story with some romance thrown in. I did think this was more like a YA novel. I would like to thank NetGalley, HQ and the author Hester Fox for my ARC in exchange for an honest review

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    Even the title sounds dark and a little ominous. THE WIDOW OF PALE HARBOR by Hester Fox is a well-crafted historical tale with a touch of the paranormal, characters haunted by the ghosts of their pasts and small town gossip that have doomed one young widow to be a pariah. When Gabriel Stone came to town, under a cloak of deceit, he discovers Sophronia Carver to be as bewitching as the tales the townsfolk tell about her as they blame her for everything bad that has happened. What dark and menacing evil lurks in th Even the title sounds dark and a little ominous. THE WIDOW OF PALE HARBOR by Hester Fox is a well-crafted historical tale with a touch of the paranormal, characters haunted by the ghosts of their pasts and small town gossip that have doomed one young widow to be a pariah. When Gabriel Stone came to town, under a cloak of deceit, he discovers Sophronia Carver to be as bewitching as the tales the townsfolk tell about her as they blame her for everything bad that has happened. What dark and menacing evil lurks in the town of Pale Harbor? Mysterious, with a heavy feel to the atmosphere, Hester Fox has created a truly remarkable tale that unfolds at its own pace, no rushing to each reveal or twist. sit back, relax and enjoy what unfolds.. I received a complimentary ARC edition from Graydon House! This is my honest and voluntary review. Publisher: Graydon House; Original edition (September 17, 2019) Publication Date: September 17, 2019 Genre: Historical Mystery | Romance Print Length: 352 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I curled up on the couch, watching it blow and rain outside of my window, with a pot of tea and read this historical romance with gothic undertones this afternoon. It was the perfect setting to enjoy this lush and sinister work. I especially appreciated the Poe references and shocking murder scenes richly sprinkled throughout this book. The narrow mindedness of the classic quaint Victorian village and the marginalization of women in this book were intriguing. What dark deeds could be unleashed w I curled up on the couch, watching it blow and rain outside of my window, with a pot of tea and read this historical romance with gothic undertones this afternoon. It was the perfect setting to enjoy this lush and sinister work. I especially appreciated the Poe references and shocking murder scenes richly sprinkled throughout this book. The narrow mindedness of the classic quaint Victorian village and the marginalization of women in this book were intriguing. What dark deeds could be unleashed without real repercussions if an entire Village has already determined the guilty party?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    Hester Fox wowed me last year with her debut so it was easy to pick up her next book The Widow of Pale Harbor. And while I did love her sophomore book with all it's mystery and intrigue it didn't quite have the paranormal aspect that I was hoping it would. Having said that though, it was still such a fun and atmospheric read and I couldn't help but eagerly turn the pages to know more about Sophy and the town and all that was transpiring. With references to Poe and darkness and death a Hester Fox wowed me last year with her debut so it was easy to pick up her next book The Widow of Pale Harbor. And while I did love her sophomore book with all it's mystery and intrigue it didn't quite have the paranormal aspect that I was hoping it would. Having said that though, it was still such a fun and atmospheric read and I couldn't help but eagerly turn the pages to know more about Sophy and the town and all that was transpiring. With references to Poe and darkness and death abound, I truly did enjoy this read and think that fans of Fox's debut, will feel the same and have just as much love for this one as they did the other. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  18. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally posted on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray If you are anything like me, as fall draws near you begin to feel an urge to curl up in your favorite chair with a soft blanket and an eerie new read. The Widow of Pale Harbor may be just that book for you! Think: historic Maine, witches, and events echoing the tales of Edgar Allen Poe. What’s not to like about that for a new fall release? In the mid-1800s, a handsome gentleman by the name of Gabriel Stone leaves his h Originally posted on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray If you are anything like me, as fall draws near you begin to feel an urge to curl up in your favorite chair with a soft blanket and an eerie new read. The Widow of Pale Harbor may be just that book for you! Think: historic Maine, witches, and events echoing the tales of Edgar Allen Poe. What’s not to like about that for a new fall release? In the mid-1800s, a handsome gentleman by the name of Gabriel Stone leaves his hometown after losing his wife in childbirth. He aims to start over as a minister in Pale Harbor in order to honor the memory of his wife. There he meets Sophronia Carver – a young widow who, despite her charisma and beauty, holds the reputation of being a witch and a murderer. In fact, the locals by and large believe that she is to blame for the death of her husband. And her tendency to isolate in her enormous, castle-like home does little to help improve the public perception. As a series of increasingly odd, frightening, and ultimately deadly events begin to occur, the town blames Sophronia. However, as Gabriel grows closer to this alluring outcast, he becomes determined to find the truth and clear her name, despite her murky past. The Widow of Pale Harbor is a delightful, fast-paced read. The perfect selection for fans of historical fiction who also enjoy a hint of romance. It is also a great choice if you are looking to try out something a little different to get you in the mood for the fall season. Incorporating aspects of mystery and gothic horror, Fox has devised a lively plot filled with engaging characters that fit the mold for this genre. Gabriel serves well in the role of male protagonist who is strong, yet sensitive. Sophronia is compelling as a mysterious widow turned fierce heroine. The writing is clean, crisp, and simple, driving the story always forward and creating a classic atmosphere of intrigue. Then, to add just one more chilling touch, Fox alludes to the notorious Edgar Allen Poe, as each unsettling event that occurs throughout the novel mirrors one of Poe’s ominous tales. Overall, this was an entertaining and enjoyable read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone arrives in the sleepy town of Pale Harbor for a fresh start, working as a minister after his wife's death. But strange things are happening in the town, and only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carter, a reclusive widow whom everyone believes killed her husband. The odd incidents escalate, and it becomes clear that they're emulating the wildly popular stories b An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone arrives in the sleepy town of Pale Harbor for a fresh start, working as a minister after his wife's death. But strange things are happening in the town, and only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carter, a reclusive widow whom everyone believes killed her husband. The odd incidents escalate, and it becomes clear that they're emulating the wildly popular stories by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. I was really excited to read this book because Fox's debut, The Witch of Willow Hall, absolutely blew me away. Aspects of that novel that I loved - the gothic atmosphere and setting, the small and isolated town, gossipy townspeople, reclusive people, the possibility of witches - were carried into this one. And I'll read anything relating to Edgar Allan Poe. But as I read, I couldn't help but wonder who the audience for the book was. Gabriel and Sophronia are both 30ish years old, their former partners dead. But the writing and general mystery - as well as their behaviour sometimes - would be better fit for a YA or NA novel. There was also an issue of insta-love and both characters acting more like love-struck teenagers than adults. Since both of them have recently lost their spouses and Gabriel even thinks about his wife often, I wouldn't expect such strong infatuation so quickly. It made the romance feel really forced. Unlike Fox's debut, there were no twists that surprised me. Knowing Poe's works as well as I do, the imitations by the villain felt more cheesy than horrifying. Not to mention, I correctly guessed who the murderer was when I'm usually the worst person to figure it out. I still really liked the gothic setting and the story's beginning, but unfortunately the mystery part of the novel - and the main characters - fell a bit flat for me. Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lana

    I loved this one! Just like in the Witch of Willow Hall, this book has just the right amount of creepy mystery to keep me guessing and turning pages. Set in 1840’s Maine, I loved the dark feel of the story, and yet for a historical fiction the book reads so quickly and effortlessly, I could hardly put it down. I can not wait to read Fox’s next book! Thank you to NetGalley and Grayden House for this advanced copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Basically, I will credit this book with restoring my faith in books. Granted my string of mediocre reads was short-lived (like 4 books), but still. Wowza. I read Hester Fox’s first novel, The Witch of Willow Hall last year and adored it. There was no way I could refuse the chance to read more from her. Things I loved: ⚓ Gothic, New England setting 🌊 Dark seaside vibe ⚓ Strong female lead 🌊 Very likeable male lead who understands consent ⚓ Writing that strang Basically, I will credit this book with restoring my faith in books. Granted my string of mediocre reads was short-lived (like 4 books), but still. Wowza. I read Hester Fox’s first novel, The Witch of Willow Hall last year and adored it. There was no way I could refuse the chance to read more from her. Things I loved: ⚓️ Gothic, New England setting 🌊 Dark seaside vibe ⚓️ Strong female lead 🌊 Very likeable male lead who understands consent ⚓️ Writing that strangely still reminds me of Jane Austen 🌊 A twisty and intriguing mystery ⚓️ A dash of witchcraft 🌊 A romance that should feel like insta-love but 100% was not ⚓️ Edgar Allan Poe connection Things I disliked: ⚓️ Sophronia is a strange name 🌊 Nothing Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I was sold a fake bill of goods and I think this book suffers from a personality disorder. I think this book really, really wants to be a dark, creepy tale of witchcraft and strangeness (which is how the book blurb sold it to me), but somehow a silly romance - that honestly felt a bit YA - got thrown into the mix and completely ruined any suspense the story was trying to build. Oh, and let's throw in a bit of transcendentalism into the mix. Don't get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with two ch I was sold a fake bill of goods and I think this book suffers from a personality disorder. I think this book really, really wants to be a dark, creepy tale of witchcraft and strangeness (which is how the book blurb sold it to me), but somehow a silly romance - that honestly felt a bit YA - got thrown into the mix and completely ruined any suspense the story was trying to build. Oh, and let's throw in a bit of transcendentalism into the mix. Don't get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with two characters falling in love during a suspenseful read, but in this read, it completely overpowered the story and each time the suspense was building I was pulled right out of it with the almost juvenile thoughts of this budding romance between two widowed adults. While I think the story will appeal to many people, I don't think it will hit the right crowd being sold as a dark, creepy read. It's not. I would categorize it as a suspenseful romance maybe? If I were interested in that genre I would say this might be almost a 4 star read because it is well written and pretty well thought out. Honestly, I didn't dislike the book, it just wasn't what it promised. When I read the author's note I was engrossed in the details of the dark history of the area/time and Poe and wondered why any of those details weren't included in the book?? Many thanks to Edelwiess for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book; all thoughts are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    This is another excellent romantic, Gothic suspense novel from Hester Fox, who made her debut in 2018 with THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL. Fans of that novel will not be disappointed in this sophomore offering, as PALE HARBOR continues to show off the author's skills in setting what I would call a "spooky lite" mood and creating an evocative atmosphere in a rural community in 19th century Maine. I personally preferred the romantic elements and character dynamics slightly in WILLOW HALL, but that is mo This is another excellent romantic, Gothic suspense novel from Hester Fox, who made her debut in 2018 with THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL. Fans of that novel will not be disappointed in this sophomore offering, as PALE HARBOR continues to show off the author's skills in setting what I would call a "spooky lite" mood and creating an evocative atmosphere in a rural community in 19th century Maine. I personally preferred the romantic elements and character dynamics slightly in WILLOW HALL, but that is mostly based on trope alignment and not so much on the book's quality, and the serial killer element of this one's plot works very nicely. And as a nice cherry on top, I personally loved the historical elements around the transcendentalism movement. All in all, really enjoyable and one I would recommend for folks looking for an atmospheric read this fall.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Milena

    I enjoyed The Witch of Willow Hall and was eagerly awaiting the release of The Widow of Pale Harbor. I am happy to say that this book did not disappoint. The Widow of Pale Harbor is an intriguing mix of an atmospheric Gothic mystery and a swoony romance. It's also a perfect book to curl up with on a chilly fall night. I recommend it to all Gothic and historical fiction fans. *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Leone-campbell

    Sophronia Carver is a wealthy widow who lives in a castle with her elderly maid in Pale Harbor, Maine during the 1800's. She has not left her house since her husband died. Seeing as the whole town has accused her of killing him, and thinks she is a witch, she does not want to show her face and incur anymore of their wrath. Gabriel Stone is a widow who has come to Pale Harbor as their new minister. After losing both his wife and child during childbirth, Stone made a commitment to his l Sophronia Carver is a wealthy widow who lives in a castle with her elderly maid in Pale Harbor, Maine during the 1800's. She has not left her house since her husband died. Seeing as the whole town has accused her of killing him, and thinks she is a witch, she does not want to show her face and incur anymore of their wrath. Gabriel Stone is a widow who has come to Pale Harbor as their new minister. After losing both his wife and child during childbirth, Stone made a commitment to his late wife to become more spiritual. Hence his new found interest in religion. Sophronia and Gabriel's paths cross and there are instant sparks which does not go over too well with Sophronia's maid Helen who feels she must be the only protector of her employer. Having cast spells on Sophronia before, she starts again to use her powers to assist her. But the town is being bombarded by dead ravens and other eerie happenings which are being attributed to Sophronia. She tends to ignore the talk, until the murders begin. Townspeople are being killed by someone whose motives have been inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's stories. Each murder is one of Poe's tales come to life! Then both Sophronia and Gabriel begin to get mysterious notes. They begin to work in tandem to try and find out who is doing the killings and why. In a town where it seems everyone is hiding a dark secret, who could be doing the killings and what does Sophronia have to do with it all? And why are they using Poe as their blueprint? The Widow of Pale Harbor is more than your average cozy mystery. A great read for Halloween, it has murder, love and the macabre which holds the reader spellbound. Thank you #NetGalley #GraydonHouse #HesterFox for the advanced copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beverley Lee

    I read the the author's debut novel, The Witch of Willow Hall, last year, and really enjoyed it, so when I had the chance to receive an ARC of The Widow of Pale Harbour, I jumped at the chance. Second novels can be a bit hiss and miss, but I'm very happy to report that this was not the case for this one. The Widow of Pale Harbour has all the elements of perfect Gothic fiction - a wild and sometimes eerie setting, beautiful descriptives, and two leading protagonists (Sophronia Carver, I read the the author's debut novel, The Witch of Willow Hall, last year, and really enjoyed it, so when I had the chance to receive an ARC of The Widow of Pale Harbour, I jumped at the chance. Second novels can be a bit hiss and miss, but I'm very happy to report that this was not the case for this one. The Widow of Pale Harbour has all the elements of perfect Gothic fiction - a wild and sometimes eerie setting, beautiful descriptives, and two leading protagonists (Sophronia Carver, the widow the town of Pale Harbour shuns, and Gabriel Stone, the newly arrived minister, looking to uphold his dead wife's dream) who are drawn together but each with their own hidden secrets. The drama and mystery builds slowly, giving the reader a chance to immerse themselves in the characters, who are all very well crafted. I loved the Edgar Allen Poe references throughout the story. They gave a sense of grounding to a work of fiction which I really appreciated. Definitely an autumn recommendation if you love your slice of Gothic with a heavy dose of romance and mystery (bonus points if you read this wrapped in a cloak overlooking a mist-filled bay ;))

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie43

    I loved everything about this book! The nuanced characters, lush setting, slow burning romance, and deftly plotted mystery kept me up late turning the pages. I already can’t wait for this author’s next book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen Kay

    I received this from Netgalley.com for a review. Maine, 1846. Gideon Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him after his wife's death. Sophronia Carver, a widow is a recluse, rumored to be a witch who killed her husband. This book is more of the romance gothic genre (compared to the authors first book), than Historical gothic. 3☆

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Bennett

    Where do I even begin with this one? Fox’s books are always wonderfully written and filled with gothic vibes. I was expecting something different than I read but this took me on a thrilling ride I never knew I needed! As I began this book, I thought I would run into something that involved the paranormal as her other book did. This book took me by surprise because it didn’t but I’m not at all upset because instead it combined Edgar Allen Poe’s work with the murders taking place in Pal Where do I even begin with this one? Fox’s books are always wonderfully written and filled with gothic vibes. I was expecting something different than I read but this took me on a thrilling ride I never knew I needed! As I began this book, I thought I would run into something that involved the paranormal as her other book did. This book took me by surprise because it didn’t but I’m not at all upset because instead it combined Edgar Allen Poe’s work with the murders taking place in Pale Harbor. I love Poe and that was just the icing on the cake! Another great thing is the point of views. I enjoy books with multiple ones because I feel that it’s easier to connect with the other characters. Sophronia Carver and Gabriel Stone came from different backgrounds but at the same time shared a common factor that they bonded over and yet it kept them a part at times. I will say that the relationship was a bit more on the insta-love side than I would have liked, but it didn’t steer me away from being completely enamored by the love between them! Although the plot felt a little slow at first, it still exceeded my expectations! I found myself not wanting to put it down because with each page turn the plot thickens and I found it hard to not second guess each character and their motives. I really thought I knew who did it but I was far off! There are many twists and turns that take place among the pages and I was not expecting how everything would be revealed at the end. Fox’s writing is nothing short of phenomenal and each of her books has captivated me. The Widow of Pale Harbor is dark, shocking, and intriguing. I highly recommend this one be added to your TBR especially with the spooky season coming! I was provided an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    TL

    I won this via goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own. ---- Didn't care for the romance between the two main characters but that's just a me thing. Loved the atmosphere of the novel and the reveal of the villain and why they did what they did was creative. Wish I would have liked it more but I did enjoy reading it.

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