Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Widow of Pale Harbor” as Want to Read:
The Widow of Pale Harbor
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Widow of Pale Harbor

by
3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,627 ratings  ·  443 reviews
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 h
...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Graydon House
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Widow of Pale Harbor, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Widow of Pale Harbor

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,627 ratings  ·  443 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Widow of Pale Harbor
megs_bookrack
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
**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 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
...more
Mary Beth
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 wh
...more
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 Massachusetts after
...more
Berit☀️✨
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-physical, 2019
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 ...more
Yun
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I scare easily, so I don't read spooky books. Growing up, I couldn't read R.L. Stein because his books freaked me out. But I've been an adult for many years now (in age, if not in feeling), and I thought it's time I give spooky books another try. After all, they seem so fun! Unfortunately, The Widow of Pale Harbor was a poor choice to start with, mostly because this book isn't scary or fun at all, but a big load of boring.

The first half of this book is mostly insta-love between Mrs. Carver and G
...more
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 Massachusetts after h
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 Edga
...more
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
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
...more
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 clever wordsmith is exceptionally skilled at creating and main
...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
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 kep
...more
Hester Fox
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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 vis
...more
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ 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. Soph
...more
Erin
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Riveting read with a satisfying gothic atmosphere as a small town is gripped by horrific incidents that they believe are caused by a young widow who may be practicing witchcraft. Can the young minister, Gabriel Stone encourage the people of Pale Harbor, Maine to see reason? Or has Gabriel himself fallen under Sophronia Carver's spell?

Although I have to admit that I much preferred the author's debut novel, The Witch of Willow Hall, I think what the author does well is show to the reading audienc
...more
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
45713963._SY475_-2.jpg

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 f
...more
Whispering Stories
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Miriam Smith
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been wanting to read “The Widow of Pale Harbour” by Hester Fox for a while now after reading some good reviews. The premise sounded perfect for my taste in gothic historical fiction and the cover just compounded the sense of dark trepidation the mysterious story oozes.
“Maine, 1846. Desperate to escape the ghosts of his past, Gabriel Stone takes a position as a minister in the remote town of Pale Harbour, but not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. As soon as Gabriel arrives, he can’t es
...more
Heather
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
...more
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
...more
Louise Wilson
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
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
...more
Norma
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-requests
Hauntingly beautiful, chilling, and atmospheric!

Loved the gothic vibe!!

Thank you so much to Eden at HarperCollins for kindly sending me a copy of this book.
Fareya
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
Hester Fox is one of my auto buy authors and her books are just perfect to pick up on a chilly Fall evening.

While I wait to get my hands on her latest, here are my top five reasons to add The Widow of Pale Harbor to your TBR, if you're on a lookout for something atmospheric and eerie.
1. Perfect gothic setting - Year 1846, a mysterious small town in Maine rooted in secrets and gripped by fear. 
2. An ancient castle by the sea, owned by a rich and reclusive widow deemed witch. Rumor is, she killed
...more
Kathleen
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 tru
...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Graydon House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
...more
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 by
...more
Lana
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
The Nerd Daily
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 losin
...more
Mara
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-owned, arc
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 ...more
Leah
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hall-of-fame
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 tw
...more
Bethany
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 30plus-romance
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

The Widow of Pale Harbor is a wonderfully atmospheric gothic romance and mystery set in 1800's Maine that focuses on the effects of misogyny on women during that time and accusations of witchcraft leveled at independent women. For the most part, I loved this. The only downside for me was that it drags out the revelation of who the villain is until long after their identity becomes blatantly obvious. That makes the end feel as if it takes forever to wrap up. But other than
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Underground B...: The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox 3 7 Apr 03, 2020 07:16PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Widow of Rose House
  • The Woman in the Mirror
  • When You Ask Me Where I'm Going
  • Secrets of the Chocolate House (Found Things, #2)
  • Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
  • Reputation
  • A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Devon, #3)
  • In Her Eyes
  • A Constellation of Roses
  • All I Want for Christmas Is You
  • Thin Ice (Alaska Wild Mysteries, #1)
  • Pretty Guilty Women
  • All the Bad Apples
  • The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr
  • The Hive
  • The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #3)
  • Dragonfly
  • A Madness of Sunshine
See similar books…
919 followers
Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the dark...so long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.

Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband and their son.

Related Articles

Mexican Gothic begins when happily ever after turns into a nightmare. The story unfolds with the Taboada family receiving a mysterious letter from...
140 likes · 24 comments
“Maybe it was time to stop listening to her brain and start listening to her heart. But even so, the most confident soldier did not go into battle without armor.” 0 likes
More quotes…