Book Review – Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger

September 12, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 6 Comments

Book Review – Raven Girl by Audrey NiffeneggerRaven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger
Published by Harry N. Abrams on May 7th 2013
Pages: 80
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven.

So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child — an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her.

One of the world’s most beloved storytellers has crafted a dark fairy tale full of wonderment and longing. Complete with Audrey Niffenegger’s bewitching etchings and paintings, Raven Girl explores the bounds of transformation and possibility.

“Today we are going to talk about where the human race may be headed. We have the power to improve ourselves, if we wish to do so. We can become anything we wish to be.”

After the postman fell in love with a raven they had a child, a child that looked like a normal human being except for the fact that she could not speak (only caw) and she had an extreme longing to fly. She traverses life as easily as any normal girl but she’s constantly living a life that is lacking. When a doctor, a Dr. Moreau type, tells her that he has the ability to give her the wings she’s always dreamed of she feels the stirrings of hope.

This story actually came to be after Audrey was asked to collaborate with the Royal ballet in order to a dark fairytale type story to life on the stage. With it’s haunting subject, dream-like qualities and gothic undertones I can definitely see this being a beautiful stage production.

Raven Girl attempted flight
 

The artwork was gorgeous and the creation process of the illustrations was far more complex than I would have normally guessed. Using a procedure called aquatint, it’s a process that was intended to imitate watercolors but it’s an extremely time-consuming process. To learn more about aquatinting, Audrey discusses it in detail in this video on youtube.

The Raven Girl is an obscure tale of a metamorphosis of sorts. She underwent an artistic transformation because after living with knowing she was different for so long she finally became who she was always meant to be.

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6 Responses to “Book Review – Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger”

  1. Maja

    Aquatinting sounds fascinating, but also very complicated. I don't really like fairy tales or fairy tale-like stories, dark or not, but the artwork alone makes this worth anyone's time.
    Thanks for the lovely review and the info, Bonnie.

    Reply
  2. darlingmisswendy

    Wow, that is amazing, Bonnie! The cover is fantastic, and I appreciate your including the videos and explanation of the project. As it happens, the Royal Ballet is my FAVORITE one and I love the idea of these dark fairy tales, even if it wasn't quite as spectacular as you'd hoped.
    My recent post Shadows: review

    Reply
  3. miss_bonnie13

    I actually haven't read The Time Traveler's Wife… haven't actually read anything by this author so I totally picked this up on a fluke. Not what I was expecting and I didn't love it but it was definitely worth the few minutes it took to read. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Christina Franke

    UH WHAT. A postman fell in love with a raven? Okay, well, that's the sort of book this is going to be. I'm curious but I'll need to be in the right mood.
    My recent post Review: This Song Will Save Your Life

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