Graphic Novel Review: ‘Through the Woods’ by Emily Carroll
|Image from publisher’s website|
The stories themselves are quite short and vary in theme. Some are more mysterious, others have supernatural threads. Well, I suppose all of them hint at the supernatural but some are more explicit than others. My favourites (by a not particularly significant margin – I loved them all) were Our Neighbour’s House, a quiet and disturbing story about three sisters whose father goes missing and leaves them trying to decide whether to brave the woods to get to their neighbour’s house, and A Lady’s Hands Are Cold, a gorgeously illustrated story about a woman dealing with ghostly noises in the creepy mansion of her new husband.
They only very, very narrowly “beat” His Face All Red (which you can read on Emily Carroll’s website for free HERE), a story of a man dealing with the guilt of betrayal that reminded me a lot of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell Tale Heart. Next up My Friend Janna, which feels desperately…sad and was the epitome of ‘haunting’. The last story was my least favourite (which is to say, I only really liked it), The Nesting Place. It’s the story of a young orphan who goes to visit his brother and his brother’s fiancée and becomes concerned that all is not as it seems with her future sister-in-law. The story had some wonderful elements and it was one of the longer stories in the collection with a lot more character development but for me, it was a little too obvious. Most of the stories are subtle and open to interpretation but this one just felt different to me, somehow.
Any criticism that I have is faint and I really recommend that you hunt down a copy of Through the Woods. Pick it up even you aren’t a graphic novel aficionado and just want to read something different. Heck, pick it up even if you don’t care about the stories and just want to look at the pictures. Just make sure that you do pick it up.