Title: The Shiniest Jewel: A Family Love Story
Author: Marian Henley
Yearly Count: 72
A graphic novel memoir of Marian Henely's experience with foreign adoption, and all that surrounded her life at that time. Her father is getting sick, she is learning to understand her parents approval for what it is, and Henely's vulnerability really is laid out in this book. The Shiniest Jewel, I could not put it down. I sat down with it unstarted, and got up with it finished. I cried, laughed and felt the range of emotions in between. I loved this graphic novel memoir. It is the best graphic novel I have ever read. Marian Henely's illustrations are minimalistic and clear, but really help the reader understand even more deeply than just the writing alone would her ups and downs, her stresses and all the setbacks in the process of adoption. I can't say enough.
I think books like this one, The Shiniest Jewel really help bring awareness of what adoptive parents go trough. I know not all foreign adoptions are the same, but all the stories I have heard personally have been equally difficult. Hopes up one moment, hopes dashed the next. I watched a friend of mine mourn when the girl they were supposed to fly over and adopt from Nigeria died before the fight was confirmed. The idea that they would KNOW her, an ocean away, and morn for her is understandable, isn't it? It is just like a pregnant woman who almost carries to full term, dreaming of all the meals she will eat with her child, all the baseball games they will watch together, all the shoes that will need to be tied, and then the baby does not make it.
Because foreign adoptions are such a big thing these days, this book is published in excellent timing. To help those who are going through the emotional circus of the adoption process, but also to help their friends, family and anyone else understand the difficulty and joy in bringing home a baby from a world away.
Author Website: MarianHenley