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Raven Girl

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  4,096 ratings  ·  755 reviews
Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven.

So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child — an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the abil
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Harry N. Abrams (first published May 2nd 2013)
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Average rating 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,096 ratings  ·  755 reviews

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Stephanie Cooke
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have a love/hate relationship with Audrey Niffenegger. I first discovered her work through the best selling novel, The Time Traveler's Wife and fell in love with her writing and the book itself.

Desperate for more, I found some of her other works like Three Incestuous Sisters, a book absolutely NOTHING like The Time Traveler's wife. I brushed it off thinking that it was just a quirky book she had gotten off her chest.

Then Her Fearful Symmetry came out and I rushed to the store to buy my copy.
Richard Derus
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven.

So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child — an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one da
Ken Gerleve
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Raven Girl is the product of a collaboration between Audrey Niffenegger and Wayne McGregor, the Royal Opera House Ballet's Resident Choreographer. The brief was for Audrey to write and illustrate a dark, modern fairytale combining aspects of traditional fairy stories with contemporary ideas surrounding identity, the body and its modification via technology. Wayne would then take the story and imagery and adapt it into a ballet, to be performed at the Royal Opera House in London.

During the summe
Liz Janet
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I think I understand this book as "magical realism explaining gender identity," but most likely I am getting ahead of myself.


This book follows the daughter of a raven and a postman, yes you read that right, it is magical realism, so just roll with it. She has never felt like she belongs in her fathers world, for she looks human, but can speak in the same caws as her mother. SO in order to become her true self, she goes through a surgery that will give her what she ultimately has always wanted,

"Inside I am a raven, she wrote. I only look human." With Raven Girl, Audrey Niffenegger crafted a sort of reverse Swan Princess, but she did so in a direct, down-to-earth fashion. Where Swan Princess involves a mystical sorcerer’s curse, Raven Girl involves a kindly doctor and a begged-for medical procedure. Unfortunately, though Niffenegger was careful to ensure that Raven Girl contained all the right elements for a proper fairy tale--romance, a villain, a death, yearning, a t
I ran across this one in the folklore section of my library. It wasn't until I was part way finished that I realized it was by Audrey Niffengger.

Frankly, I have not been impressed with her work so far, and this is no exception.

It's supposed to be a modern fairy tale. In fact, Niffengger says in the acknowledgements, "Fairy tales have their own remorseless logic and their own rules." And that's very true... except, if you go as far as to explain how wings were grown in a vat with stem cells, the
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
2.5 stars!

So, this was a very strange book. Meant to be a fairytale-inspired tale about the daughter of a human postman and a once injured raven who he ends up rescuing. Their daughter grows up as a human but shares the mental qualities of a raven and would rather be one. I liked the illustrations, however, the story-line in question just didn't work well for me. The use of lots of modern settings threw me off a little and I struggled to connect with the characters. If you are looking for someth
A lovely and simple fairy tale, with classical plot elements like transformation and true love transcending all boundaries. In a quaint English setting, a country postman is tasked with delivering a letter to an address he’s never seen before:

Dripping Rock
Raven’s Nest
2 Flat Drab Manor
East Underwhelm, Otherworld
EE1 LH9 [postcode = East of East, Lower Heights]

Here the postman meets a young raven fallen out of her nest, takes her home to mend her and they fall in love. Even when her wing heals and
Erin Laidley
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
In Raven Girl, Niffenegger combines the modern magic of medicine and technology with the more traditional elements of princes, transformation, and unlikely lovers to create an wonderfully unique Gothic fairytale. It's quick read is supplemented by Niffenegger's own illustrations which enhance the story and bewitch the reader.

There were only a few things that I disliked about this story: the ending was quite abrupt, some details were glossed over, and the book was quite short (80 pages total, and
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Library Checkout

"Today we are going to talk about where the human race may be headed. We have the power to improve ourselves, if we wish to do so. We can become anything we wish to be."

After the postman fell in love with a raven they had a child, a child that looked like a normal human being except for the fact that she could not speak (only caw) and she had an extreme longing to fly. She traverses life as easily as any normal girl but she's constantly living a l
Jul 09, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first experience of Niffenegger (though I am peripherally aware of Time Traveller's Wife), and it's a safe bet it'll be my last. I only picked this up at the library because it looked like a modern, adult fairy story, and I'm always interested to see attempts at that. Unfortunately, this is only that: an attempt.
While it's a fun and strange story that had potential, Niffenegger utterly botched it with thin characterization, stilted and jerky prose, and plot turns (and characters) app
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Raven Girl is the 4th graphic novel by American artist and author, Audrey Niffenegger. It was written/drawn as the beginning point for a new dance for the Royal Ballet in London. The story starts with a Postman who falls in love with a Raven. They have a child, the Raven Girl who wants to fly but cannot, until she encounters a man who can make it happen. This is a fairy tale with plenty of traditional elements (unusual unions, talking cats, a Prince, a happily-ever-after ending) but also some mo ...more
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Another interesting concept by Audrey Niffenegger: A raven and a postman (named as such as if that's a subspecies of human) fall in love and produce a hybrid, the titular character. The child feels different from others (as you can imagine) and finally realizes it's because she yearns to fly but can't. As with The Night Bookmobile, I'm not sure what to make of the ending, though here at least the irony is more satisfying. ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: richard
part fable & part fairy tale.
beautiful artwork.
and the longing.
oh, the longing.
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A whimsical love story full of grace and compassion and fancy that reinforces the message that the journey to self discovery is both rewarding and sometimes painful. Beautiful illustrations by the author.
Sam Quixote
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Best known for her novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, a book I’ve never, nor ever will, read, I’m familiar with Audrey Niffenegger’s “illustrated novels”, all of which I’ve read. The latest, Raven Girl, is a modern fairy tale conceived for a dance production, and is also the least interesting of the four illustrated novels.

A postman and a giant raven produce a human girl who wishes she was a raven. When she grows up and enters university, she meets a visiting biology professor who reluctantly agre
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Raven Girl is the eagerly anticipated new release from the bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife. Here, in her longest illustrated book to date, Niffenegger has married together her love of art and literature. The illustrations throughout have been produced with an ‘aquatint’ technique, which uses ‘metal, acid, wax and rosin’ and dates from the seventeenth century. Aesthetically, the book is a work of art. It has been beautifully produced, and has silvered edges, glossy pages and beauti ...more
Nylla Nesnej
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I didn't have any expectations one way or another for this book. I have never read the "The Time Traveler's Wife" and had never heard of this book until I picked it up one day browsing the "Graphic Novels" section of the bookstore, bought it, and began to read it on my way home (and then while walking to my house).

I start off by saying my inner-child isn't like most inner-children. I prefer Grimms to Disney any day. I'm also part Danish which means that a chunk of my family is from a country whi
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Raven Girl is a dark modern fairy tale, written and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger. Far from a kids' album, it touches upon subjects such as surgery and body transformation; I read in an article that Audrey Niffenegger thought a lot about transgender issues when writing this story.

It was difficult for me to get into this story, probably too surrealist (even unbelievable). Seriously, a man and a raven? The rest is a bit morbid while not really developed. More work could have been put on the c
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a dark modern fairy tale that combines the elements of classic fairy tales such as metamorphoses, sentient animals and unlikely unions with modern elements such as medicine and stem cell research.

Audrey Niffenegger was asked to write a 'dark fairy tale' to be used as the narrative for a new ballet for the Royal Ballet, which premiered at the Royal Opera House in May. The illustrations by Niffenegger are stunning and it was easy to see how this would would make a very powerful ballet - a
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
*Copy of book received in advance from the publisher.*

Raven Girl was conceived as "a new fairy tale," and that is exactly what it is. As in a fairy tale, some details and impossibilities are glossed over; as in a fairy tale, the animal and human worlds overlap; as in a fairy tale, some characters have happy endings, and some come to unfortunate ends.

Those who have read The Three Incestuous Sisters, The Adventuress, and/or The Night Bookmobile will recognize Niffenegger's unique art in the pages
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
was watching some booktube videos for recommendations for halloween/october reads and this was one of them that i found. it's not scary at all, but it does have a dark, melancholy vibe and it's definitely a little weird.

it's about a postman who falls in love with a raven and has a child with her. hence, the raven girl. the girl is born out of an egg and she can't speak english, only Raven. she is upset because she wants to have wings and fly like her mother. she doesn't want to be human.

the illu
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-this-year
Raven Girl is a fairy tale for adults. The premise of romantic love between a postman and a raven intrigued me and the subsequent weird events kept me reading. This book has a touch of horror in it as well which is part of every captivating fairy tale. I loved this book's weird beauty.
Rain Misoa
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Magical realism lovers and people who don't mind short reads.
Recommended to Rain by: Library
Shelves: must-own, fairy-tales
A really good read, even if it was short.

To read my full review, click here.
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

This was a weird, but short little book. I had been slightly forewarned by some reviews prior to picking this up, but I have really enjoyed Niffenegger's other works, so I had to pick it up all the same. It's magical realism in the form of a new fairy tale, but it was just plain strange. I don't know if maybe constructing it as a novel and drawing it out would have made a difference or if it's just the plain facts of the story. As it was, the shortness likely saved it from a lower rati
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
This modern fairy tale was a collaboration between Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote the story, and Wayne McGregor, the choreographer of the Royal Ballet in London and guy who wrote the dance. The idea was intriguing and unique enough that I picked up the book (obviously), but I wasn't blown away by the story's execution.

A Raven and a Postman falling in love is at least as conceiveable a concept as a wolf who can eat a grandmother whole and then pose as her. Audrey gets serious points for creativity
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Audrey Niffenegger's attempt to write a modern fairy tale is entertaining and charming. I see that previous reviewers have been put off by the darkness or disturbing things in the tale. To that I say, well, that's fairy tales for you! (the actual Brothers Grimm tales are some terrifying stuff). I think Niffenegger captures parts of the sense of the fairy tale: transformation, simple prose, and, in my opinion the best part of the story, taking something very peculiar and playing it straight. In f ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tale
Niffenegger A., Raven Girl, Jonathan Cape, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-224-09787-1

When I read about Audrey Niffenegger‘s Raven Girl project on Goodreads, I was fascinated and ordered the book. Here was an author/illustrator who worked hand in hand with a choreographer, Wayne McGreggor of the Royal Ballet in London, to create a book and a ballet. There’s a distinct appeal to linking across art forms in a quest for new ground. The story idea was fascinating, too: a postman falls in love with a raven and they
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a strange fairy tale-ish story about a postman who falls in love with a baby raven who fell from her nest. Once she grows up, she and the postman get married and have a baby - a human-looking girl who hatches from an egg. Throughout her life Raven Girl is seen as different, mostly because she can only speak raven.

I'm not really sure what age group I would categorize this for, as the story might appeal to a younger audience who doesn't think "bestiality" when hearing of a man marrying a
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Reading Buddy Style: November 2014: Raven Girl 1 5 Oct 21, 2014 06:07AM  

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Audrey Niffenegger (born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan) is a writer and artist. She is also a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia College Chicago.

Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), was a national bestseller. The Time Traveler's Wife is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpre

Articles featuring this book

The Raven Girl longs to escape the constraints of her human body in this dark fairy tale, written and illustrated by the author of The Time Travele...
48 likes · 13 comments
“He sometimes had nightmares that featured e-mail.” 7 likes
“She talked back, but he didn't understand her raven language of harsh caws and soft croaks.” 4 likes
More quotes…