Friday 14 February 2020

ReadItDaddy's Comic / Graphic Novel of the Week - Week Ending 14th February 2020: "Glass Town" by Isabel Greenberg (Jonathan Cape PB)

Wow, what a treat for Bronte-sauruses such as us - a graphic novel that doesn't just dish up the usual stale old biography of the Brontes, but delves into their storytelling psyche in a completely unique way.

"Glass Town" by Isabel Greenberg digs into the backstory of Charlotte, Emily, Branwell and Anne. Living in a tumbledown house in the middle of a remote moor had an early effect on the adventuresome imaginations of the four children. Though their life was tinged with early tragedy and the loss of two siblings, the four developed a deep bond through their love of storytelling.

In particular their dreamed-up world where the four would often cook up narratives, plots and characters that would undoubtedly influence their later lives and in particular Charlotte and Emily's writing careers.

Isabel perfectly captures the often stark bleakness of their young lives, and how that completely contrasted with Glass Town and the world they wrote about, drew and mapped out as the four would play together.

But she goes a step further - this is Isabel Greenberg we're talking about after all, and soon the characters of Glass Town begin to seep into the real world lives of the four as the characters beg to tell their own stories.

As you'll discover once you dip in, the four (often contrasting) personalities of the Brontes fed directly into the evolution of their imaginary world, and the friendships and conflicts of the imaginary folk they populated it with.

Sum this book up in a sentence: Sumptuous, darkly delicious and gothic, and at times quite uplifting and heartwarming, this is an absolute must for every Bronte fan who's ever wondered "What if Glass Town was ever developed into a story in its own right?"

"Glass Town" by Isabel Greenberg is out now, published by Jonathan Cape PB (kindly supplied for review).