A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris – my review


I am as brown as brown can be,
And my eyes as black as sloe;
I am as brisk as brisk can be,
And wild as forest doe.
(The Child Ballads, 295)

So begins a beautiful tale of love, loss and revenge. Following the seasons, A Pocketful of Crows balances youth and age, wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girl.

Only love could draw her into the world of named, tamed things. And it seems only revenge will be powerful enough to let her escape.

Amazon UK


Wow! They say the best things come in small packages, and this little book demonstrates this perfectly! Such a stunning cover too!

This is a wonderfully staged ‘fairytale’ with a twist! It’s a very simple story – girl meets boy, girl falls in love, boy betrays girl, girl gets revenge – but the writing style is so beautiful that it creeps under your skin and holds you spellbound throughout. It is based on the poem ‘The Child Ballads, 925’

The ‘wilding girl’ is one of the travelling folk. They don’t mix with the villagers, they just watch from afar, and she collects coloured things that the villagers drop. One of these things turns out to be a charm left by a girl with the name of ‘William’ left on there. From that moment it seems that the wilding girl is destined to meet William, and her whole world is turned on its’ head.

Before she is happy to live her life through the nature she is surrounded by – one day she is a vixen, the next a hawthorn – but when the emotion of ‘love’ appears in her life she can think of nothing else. And this powerful force that enters her life is soon her downfall as her beloved William betrays her in the worst way, and all she can think of is revenge.

I loved how the story switches from traditional fairytale with its’ beauty and wonder, and then soon draws into the darker side of fairytales and human emotions and how far she is willing to go to free herself of her strong feelings to William and how this impacts the villagers she once kept away from

Such a magical read from the way she transforms into a variety of wildlife and the simplicity of life she leads, to the perspective of first loves and how it consumes you and can make you lose your identity, to the desperation of finding out love is not all it seems. It really takes the reader on a twisted journey and I can’t wait to read it all over again!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced readers copy in return for a fair and honest review.