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The Shiniest Jewel

November 5, 2008

A Family Love Story

Before I begin my review, I just wanted to say thank you all for commenting on my last post regarding the loss of our cat. I really appreciate all the nice comments and sentiments you left for me and my family. Thank you.

I had never read a graphic novel before and had been hesitant to do so. I’ll admit that I felt the medium juvenile and didn’t think that a comic book feel to a book would be appealing. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by The Shiniest Jewel, a graphic memoir written and illustrated by Marian Henley, mostly due to the subject matter. Henley decides at the age of 49 to adopt a little boy from Russia. In her memoir, Henley describes her journey to becoming an adoptive parent and the emotional roller-coaster ride of international adoption. Obviously, having been through the process of international adoption is what attracted me to the book and I am really glad that I gave it a go.

The process of international adoption is not for the faint of heart and in Henely’s case it was an absolute nightmare. From the very unprofessional agency she used for her adoption, to her father’s illness, Henley’s heart wrenching memoir to bring her son home is a hard one to read. But, through all the heartache and waiting, Henley interjects some humor into her story and in the end The Shiniest Jewel really turns out to be a gem.

I am quite frankly so surprised that a memoir in a graphic format can be so touching. The drawings are simplistic yet help tell the story well and the slim book can be read in one quick setting. Overall, I was quite impressed with The Shiniest Jewel and would highly recommend it. I also plan to read more graphic novels in the future and even grabbed a copy of Persepolis already. Thanks all you lovely book bloggers for introducing me to graphic novels.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 5, 2008 10:13 pm

    I thought this book was great, too. The illustrations added so much to the story.

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