From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Following her eerie graphic novel, The Night Bookmobile (2010), multitalented Niffenegger returns to the elegant mode of her novels-in-pictures (The Three Incestuous Sisters, 2005; The Adventuress, 2006) in this by turns brooding and radiant modern fairy tale. A solitary postman serving a desolate outpost has nightmares about e-mail and fears he'll never have an adventure. Then one fateful day he delivers a letter to a raven's nest and finds a fledgling on the ground. He takes the little girl raven home; she matures quickly, relishing television and junk food, and they fall in love. Their egg-hatched daughter looks human, but she squawks instead of speaks, longs to fly, and confides, I feel all wrong. Away at college, she meets a plastic surgeon who thinks he can help. With her signature mordant wit, wry melancholy, and keen gothic sensibility, Niffenegger weds the fabulous with the deeply human in this concentrated, suspenseful fable of unlikely love, a struggle for selfhood, and a dramatic metamorphosis. Niffenegger's prose is precise and stinging, her etchings shadowed and graceful, her spellbinding story suffused with implications. Created in response to an invitation to collaborate with London's Royal Ballet, Raven Girl will take flight as a book and onstage.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Niffenegger (The Night Bookmobile) blends art and prose in this eerie picture book for adults. The modern world takes on a fairy-tale cast as a postman falls in love with a raven; their daughter, stuck in a human body but able to speak only in the raven language, yearns to fly. As a college student, the raven girl learns of the possibility that she may surgically be given wings, thus transforming her body to better reflect her true nature. The tale takes a dark turn when a boy who harbors an unhealthy obsession for the raven girl-believing himself to be saving her-commits a murder. Niffenegger's images are not as polished as her prose; her humans have a slightly cartoonish feel, but her ravens are beautifully detailed, with feathers that seem as though they could fly off the page. The muted color choices suit the surreal tone of the novella. The unsettling nature of the tale is reminiscent of Swan Lake, and it is fitting that this story will also be debuting as a London Royal Ballet performance. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.