Chicken with Plums

Marjane Satrapi


This is the story of Marjane’s great uncle, a famous musician. When his instrument is damaged, he searches unsuccessfully for a replacement. Depressed, he gives up the search and decides to die.

In the eight days between his loss and his death, Marjane’s wonderful illustrations travel back through his disappointing life. The only pleasure left to him is a favorite dish, chicken with plums.

Although I loved her illustrations, the story left me cold. This man cared nothing for his wife or children, only his instrument. If he couldn’t have it, he decided to die and did. What selfishness!


Tamara Drewe

Posy Simmonds


Take a quiet little farm in the countryside peopled with writers on retreat, mix in one made-over lovely, and watch the sparks fly. Loosely based on Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, this book tells the tale of one Tamara Drew, a girl who just wants to have fun. Unfortunately, she breaks hearts and ruins lives in her wake.

Beth Hardiman, the dumpy, faithful, hard-working wife of best-selling novelist Nick Hardiman, watches as all her hard work to create a quiet work space for husband and the group of wanna-be writers, begins to crumble when Tamara starts disturbing the peace. Even Alex the gardener is drawn to her beauty. When Ben, her rock-star boyfriend leaves, she turns her attention to Nick. Mix in two disturbed, bored teenagers, and you have all the elements of a real disaster in the making.

I don’t understand people who say “I don’t read graphic novels.” When they are this good, they are really missing out.

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

Marjane Satrapi


I never would have read this story if it had been text based, but the delightful pictures Marjane draws makes it irresistible. In Persepoli 2 she continues her engaging story with this account of her life in Austria and eventual return to Iran. She doesn’t fit in too well in Austria. She doesn’t speak German fluently and never feels at home in her own skin. She is unable to fit in with extended family and is not able to make friends easily. This book tells the tale of her struggles, ending with her return to Iraq. She finds that in spite of her parents’ love for her and her love for them for her grandmother, that she doesn’t fit in with them either. She has outgrown Iraq. I’m sorry that volumes 3 and 4 are not available in English. I look forward to read the further adventures of Marjane.