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Praise for Raven Girl:
“With her signature wit, wry melancholy, and keen gothic sensibility, Niffenegger weds the fabulous with the deeply human in this concentrated, suspenseful fable. . . .” ---Booklist, Starred Review
“The book is a colorist’s dream that hauntingly captures the world of birds and humans and, as the title suggests, a creature that is somewhere in between.” The Chicago Sun-Times
“Niffenegger (The Night Bookmobile) blends art and prose in this eerie picture book for adults.” —Publishers Weekly
“Raven Girl is a delight to hold and take in. Lovers of fairy tales and some graphic novel fans should find much to love here.”
—School Library Journal online
"A haunting grown-up fairy tale" Variety Magazine
“Provocative and beautiful.” —ForeWord Reviews
“A runaway hit? This one’s going to fly.” —DailyCandy
“It’s a lovely story.” —Chicago Reader
“Raven Girl is an insidious intermingling of words and pictures to be treasured.”—Tor.com
Posted June 29, 2013
'Raven Girl' is a strange short story that feels like a fairy tale. The story tells the tale of a Postman who finds a baby raven one day on his route. He proceeds to take her home with him, cares for her, and they eventually fall in love. Soon after they are married (enter weirdness), the raven lays an egg that continues to grow and grow. When it's time for the egg to hatch, a human girl emerges from the shell. (More weirdness.) The girl grows up and although she is human in appearance, she speaks in caws like a raven. She also feels like she has been born into the wrong body and she really is meant to have the body of a raven. The girl, who is known only as Raven Girl, grows up and attends university, where she finds a doctor who agrees to give her surgery to turn her arms into wings. (Even more weirdness.) In true fairy tale form, the story ends with a happily ever after.
This was a really odd and kind of creepy fairy tale that definitely reaches the edge of one's imagination. Parts of it had me wondering what the heck was going on - like the part where the man and the raven have an egg/baby together. Weird. The story itself was well written and I was fascinated enough to keep reading to see what would happen to the Raven Girl. Luckily there's a happy ending and I honestly didn't know if there would be one. Among the pages of the short story are dark and strange illustrations. They are mostly of the Raven Girl, although they follow along with the story. All of the drawings are dark with little to no color in them and only a couple show happy scenes from the story. This was definitely a book that I wasn't expecting from the description, but I'm glad I got to experience it. It's not for everyone, but those who do find that type of fiction appealing will love it's gothic feel and strange fairy tale telling.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.