A House of Cranes


Fiction - Literary
387 Pages
Reviewed on 02/04/2024
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Author Biography

Winner of a Literary Titan Award for his debut novel, Kilómetro Cero, and INDIEFAB Awards finalist for his short story collection, Tooth and Talon, James Walter Lee is an American author who writes literary and general fiction, and in the genres of thrillers, horror, and romance. He owns and operates two publishing imprints, Zennea Press and 2nd Sight Press. He holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from The New York Academy of Art and a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the College for Creative Studies. James is also an avid photographer and lives in Pennsylvania.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A House of Cranes is a work of fiction in the historical fiction, interpersonal drama, and psychological writing subgenres. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience owing to its intense themes and some scenes of a sexual nature. Penned by author James Walter Lee, the year is 1963, and eleven-year-old Lucius Cook finds himself orphaned and thrust into the opulence of Kenneth Crane's family in suburban Hartford. The Crane household becomes a captivating backdrop for Lucius's coming of age. His fascination with photography, shared with Mr. Crane and the enigmatic Eleanor Crane, becomes central to Lucius's emotional journey. As time unfolds, Lucius grapples with complex emotions in his desire for Eleanor, transitioning from boyhood fascination to a young man's profound longing.

Author James Walter Lee has crafted an immersive, emotive, and fascinating novel that perfectly captures the nuances of human emotions and the intricate dynamics of a family burdened by complex desires. The narrative delves into the taboo side of love and desire, exploring the blurred lines between admiration and yearning with a keen sense of balance that never seeks to shame or support but rather explores Lucius’s heart and mind. The suburban setting of 1960s Hartford becomes a character in itself, influencing the characters' interactions and shaping their destinies, and is brought to life with excellent historical details and atmospheric touches that match the emotional impetus of each scene. Lee's storytelling is both poignant and reflective, inviting readers to ponder the nature of love and how it transforms over time. Overall, A House of Cranes is a beautifully written exploration of longing, passion, and the enduring quest for understanding the intricate dance of the heart. It's a book that I would recommend to readers seeking a unique historical drama like no other they’ve read before.