The Shiniest Jewel: A Family Love Story by Marian Henley
Release date: Monday, September 15th, 2008
“The Shiniest Jewel” represents my very first experience with a graphic novel, although actually it is not a novel, but a graphic memoir. The graphic memoir seems really to be taking off, I have Persepolis in my teetering TBR pile, but I got to this first. I think this format can work really, really well for a memoir, particularly one like this that only spans a year or so.
I really enjoyed Henley’s story. I was under the impression that it was completely about her experience with foreign adoption at the age of 50, but it was really much more. The subtitle, “A Family Love Story,” is extremely fitting. “The Shiniest Jewel” deals with Henley’s relationship with her parents, particularly her ailing father, her marriage-phobic relationship with her boyfriend, and the emotional ups and downs of adoption. The illustrations are at times both poignant and hilarious, and the story itself was very moving.
This is something I would recommend to anyone, but particularly those who are contemplating or have gone through adoption, particularly foreign adoption.