My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A moving and magical tale that seamlessly blends illustration and text. A story about family, identity, history and myth-making. The Marvels weaves together the tale of the Marvels family with the young protagonist Joseph’s escape from boarding school in modern day England.
Part of the enjoyment of this book is how beautifully it is presented. The embossed gold cover features details of the story, and the illustrations which account for more than half the pages so perfectly capture the mood of the story that I couldn’t put it down. The first 400 pages have no text, the story is conveyed entirely through black and white pencil drawings, and there is something about the silent unfolding of the Marvel family’s history which is incredibly powerful.
Joseph’s story is, however, the most moving part of the book. He runs away to London and discovers his uncle is living in a strange house that appears to be stopped in time. As the relationship between uncle and nephew grows into a close bond I couldn’t help but be moved to tears.
A simple but powerful story, presented in a unique manner that makes it rewarding to read and quite unlike anything else I have read recently.