Robert Beveridge's Reviews > The Soap Lady

The Soap Lady by Renée French
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's review
Nov 19, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008-goal-list, interlibrary-loan, finished
Read in September, 2008 , read count: 1

Renee French, The Soap Lady (Top Shelf, 2001)

Renee French creates small, unassuming, quietly devastating graphic novels that have gotten far less exposure than they deserve. The Soap Lady, a cautionary tale about the hazards of xenophobia, is no different. Drawing inspiration from an exhibit at the Mutter Museum, French tells the story of a lady made of soap (as you might be able to guess from the title) who emerges from the water and befriends a young boy. Unfortunately, the boy's fellow villagers are not as fond of the soap lady as he is, with the expected results, but French doesn't let the narrative drown in despair at any point.

Not that the narrative is the centerpiece of any Renee French release; her drawings command attention. It's possible to spend half an hour or more just staring at a French drawing, finding all the odd little details and appreciating the art for what it is. I am extremely fond of the work of Renee French, and The Soap Lady is just another example of why. ****
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