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The Widow of Pale Harbor

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Maine, 1846. Gideon Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife's death, so he moves to Pale Harbor, Maine, where there is a vacancy for a new minister. Gideon and his late wife had always dreamed of building their own church, and Pale Harbor is the perfect opportunity.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town of Pale Harbor.
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: September 17th 2019 by Graydon House
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3.99  · 
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 ·  147 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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My blog tour date for this book is next Monday, September 16th!! My full review will be up that day and the book is set to release on Tuesday, September 17th. This is the perfect book for Autumn so be sure to be on the lookout for it!!!


Literally me moments ago receiving confirmation I am receiving an ARC of this book:

I freaking adored Fox's 2018 release, The Witch of Willow Hall. The lady can write some great gothic atmosphere and I am sooooo down for that!

Excited to get started
Nenia ✨ Literary Garbage Can ✨ Campbell

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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. Sophro
Hester Fox
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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
Book of Secrets
Feb 19, 2019 marked it as wish-list
Shelves: autumn
I need this book right now! I'm swooning over the blurb and cover. I. Can't. Wait. Until. September. ♥
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
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
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, ebook-owned
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
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen Kay
I received this from 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.

Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 twist
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars!

What’s better than a slow Gothic burn in the middle of summer? Absolutely nothing.
I envisioned this seaside village perfectly, always shrouded in fog, the mansion looming in the background Tim Burton style.This is the perfect book to read if you’re craving a mix of the macabre and romance. I am always down for the removal of petticoats before ahem sexy times.

The Widow Of Pale Harbor is about our widow Sophronia who is an outcast in the village and has been accused of being a witch aft
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The Witch Of Willow Hall by this author so I was excited to get an advance copy of her latest work. This was a historical fiction/mystery with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.
Sophronia Carver was never made to feel particularly welcome by the people of Pale Harbor Maine after settling there with her cold and cruel husband. Upon his death, the locals began to speculate and gossip that she may have murdered him, either by her own hand or some sort of witchery. Some even clai
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Becky Wright
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC edition.
The Widow of Pale Harbour was a much-anticipated read after having read Hester Fox's debut novel, The Witch of Willow Hall, last year. It can be a little tricky to follow-up with an equally thrilling new release, but the author has pulled it off, again. Hester Fox is fast becoming a favourite author of modern Gothic fiction

Giving the reader the perfect mix of impending drama and dark mystery all wrapped up in delicious Gothic prose; with captivating ch
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an early draft of this book and really enjoyed it. The author combined several interesting cultural phenomena (Transcendentalism and Poe-mania) to develop the setting and historical context for this story. I also read her first novel and noticed how she was able to skillfully expand the world she created to incorporate a larger cast of characters and multiple points of view. I found the characters to be interesting and nuanced with unique motivations driving their actions. Definitely remi ...more
Such an intriguing concept but, unfortunately, this one didn’t work for me. I made it 35% in and I haven’t enjoyed any of it. 🙁 The romance felt very cheesy, which was the biggest turn off of all for me. And, to be fair, I hadn’t expected romance.

It’s definitely a nice nod to Poe and if you don’t mind the romance aspect, you might enjoy it more than I did.

Thank you Grayson House for this digital review copy through NetGalley.
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Joanna Bennett
What a whirlwind of a book!

Review to come.

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing cool to do but reading as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader.

From the author of the buzzed-about THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL comes an atmospheric f
Lori Shafer
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The tiny town of Pale Harbor should be a quiet place. A place of solitude and innocence. Instead the village has been experiencing strange events. Their new minister, Gabriel Stone, is not what he seems. Fleeing his past, Gabriel finds himself fascinated by the Widow Carver. Everyone in town thinks she is a witch and believe she is the only one who could be wrecking such havoc in the town. Stone is forced to face his past while unraveling a mystery.

This novel is my first Hester Fox book. The ent
Ashlee Bree
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Despite this novel not being quite as pulse-thumpingly macabre as Poe’s work, nor as gothically charged as du Maurier’s, Rebecca, I felt an essence of both authors throughout it. I enjoyed that. It blew through the text like the wind whipping against rocks on the bluff: reminiscent in a way yet also derivative.

Eeriness rolled into the setting as well as the atmosphere, with the town of Pale Harbor remote and isolated in the Maine countryside, its residents tittering about the young widowed “wit
3.5 stars

Sophronia Carver is the widow of Pale Harbor. Everyone in town believes that she is a witch and that she killed her husband. Gabriel Stone came to Pale Harbor to become the minister his wife always wanted him to be. The two are immediately attracted to each other, but neither trust the other completely, and Gabriel feels guilty for falling in love after his wife died.
Sophronia has been tormented by one of her haters in the town, but she doesn't know who. Incidents start to occur in town
Karen M
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading historical fiction particularly when it is a Gothic mystery with underlying darkness and foreboding and especially when there are hints of wickedness. This is not just a mystery, it is a mystery colored with evil.

All the elements are there, the dark isolated castle outside of Pale Harbor, Maine, the newcomer whose past affects his present and who comes to town under false pretenses, the companion who seems too close, too caring, too protective, the beautiful widow with secrets of
Stormi (Bewitched Reader)
The Widow of Pale Harbor is my second experience with Hester Fox's writing and I enjoyed it even more than when I read The Witch of Willow Hall. I really enjoy her Gothic touches to historical romances. The added touches revolving around Edgar Allen Poe and his famous works really added to the historical and Gothic feel of Sophronia and Gabriel's story.

Hester Fox's writing has a sort of enchanted feeling to it. She sucked me into the dark and mysterious town of Pale Harbor. I felt like I was rig
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Sophronia Carver has become an outcast in Pale Harbor after the death of her husband. The townspeople believe she murdered him and that she is a witch. Strange events and murders that reflect stories from Edgar Allan Poe begin to occur and Sophronia and a new to town pastor attempt to solve the mystery.
I enjoyed the writing style and the connection with Poe. I thought it was a great story and did not guess the whodunit. Fox solidified herself as one of my go to authors with her debut The Witch
Ashley *Booksbrewsandbarks*
This was a unique work of historical fiction that was quite enjoyable and entertaining. I am very picky when it comes to my historical fiction reads and am quite tired of WWI so, with this one taking place in the mid-19th century, it was a breath of fresh air in that respect. I also liked that it took place in Maine and was great at setting that scene.

I wish it was a little more spooky at times, although I appreciated the intertwining of Poe stories within the mystery. The mystery was overshado
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Widow of Pale Harbor centers around a small town in Maine, where strange things have been happening, strange things that seem to go hand in hand with Edgar Allen Poes pieces of works. The town has their suspicions as to is behind it all. Sophronia Carver, the widow up on the hill. With the help of a mysterious new man to town, they will work together to uncover the truth and prove her innocence.

Sophronia Carver is a recluse and the talk of the town. After her husbands death the town began to
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Like so many good books this year, this is squarely in the adult category. The 2 main characters are very likeable and complex, and in this dark, broody thriller, I was turning pages and holding my breath to the end. A definite read for those in the mood for a twisty novel.
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Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the 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.