Monday, October 5, 2009

illustrated novel review: the three incestuous sisters by audrey niffenegger

I stumbled upon this book in the library catalog a few weeks ago. I was frantically trying to reserve a copy of Her Fearful Symmetry so I could read it sometime before Christmas, and I saw that there were two books listed by Audrey Niffenegger I had never heard of: The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress. I immediately requested them both.

As you can see by the cover, the art is beautiful. I knew Niffenegger was an artist, but I somehow missed the news that she wrote these two illustrated novels. Before I read it, I thought "illustrated novel" might be semantics to market a graphic novel to those who might not necessarily read them otherwise (and specifically those who read The Time Traveler's Wife.). I was wrong. I enjoy graphic novels, but this book seems closest to a children's picture book in how it tells a story. The pictures are more powerful than the words, but they two elements work together beautifully.

The Three Incestuous Sisters
is lushly illustrated. I read it with nomadreaderboy, and we would gladly purchase an additional copy to cut up, frame and hang all over our home. The art is beautiful. The story is fascinating and very Niffenegger. It has hints of the supernatural, but the sisters are flush with humanity. It's a quick read, but I found myself reading it (and gazing at the art) very slowly. I even read it in two sittings to make it last.

I absolutely loved this book.

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5) - really loved it

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