Fairy tales have that elusive something that seems to stick with a person, long after hearing the familiar stories in childhood, or told with bright Disney animation. Even darker, more exciting versions of the same fairy tales have made it to the small screen today, mostly on the ABC network. New fairy tales are an uncommon thing, but if you’d like to try a new one this week’s Port Pick is for you.
Audrey Niffenegger is best known for her book The Time Traveller’s Wife, that was made into a movie about 5 years ago. But in 2013 Niffenegger wrote and illustrated Raven Girl, a fairy tale for adults. At just 79 pages with arresting etchings on nearly every page, this is not a long story and is certainly not too deep on the details.
It seems once upon a time, there was a Postman who delivered letters in a rural area. One day he is handed a letter addressed somewhere he’s never been on his daily walk: Dripping Rocks on Raven’s Walk, East of East. So down he goes to the coastline with dripping rocks where he finds a young raven who outside the nest. Mistaking this for injury, he takes the raven home and ends up raising her. The two fall in love, get married, and have a daughter, the Raven Girl. (Don’t think too hard about this – it is after all a fairy tale.) The Raven Girl is born with arms but speaks only the raven language. At college she meets a doctor willing to perform the operation she’s always wanted, one that will give her wings instead of arms. However, in her college classes a young boy has also fallen in love with Raven Girl, and unasked, makes himself her protector. During an altercation in the hospital after the operation the boy pushes the doctor out a window. Raven Girl leaps out the window to rescue the doctor and tries to fly on untested wings. To hear the rest of the story, fly yourself on down to the Port Library and check this book out.
You can get the book reviewed here at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit. This is director Rachel Malay, saying “Thanks for checking us out!”