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Thursday, August 5, 2010

REVIEW: Picture The Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown

SYNOPSIS: Jennie’s connection with her twin brother, Toby, grew stronger after he died in 1864. Now Jennie must rely on her ability to communicate with the dead to find out what has happened to her beloved fiance, Will, while he was off at war. The army says he died honorably in battle. His brother confides that he became a violent criminal and died in a prison camp. Jennie begins to doubt that anyone is telling her the truth.

This intriguing combination of historical romance, paranormal thriller, and clever mystery is illustrated by bestselling artist Lisa Brown. The unique visuals originated from real Civil War daguerreotypes that were transformed into eerie mementos for Jennie’s scrapbook.

With the help of a spiritualist photographer, the spirit of her dead fiance, and the clues she discovers and keeps in her scrapbook, Jennie must put together the pieces of this mystery before she loses her home, her fortune, and possibly her life.

-from Goodreads

MY REVIEW: Picture The Dead,written by Adele Griffin and illustrated by Lisa Brown,sketches a very realistic picture of the society during the American Civil War. The book intertwines the evil of war with interest in spiritualism. The bereaved families who had suffered the losses of their loved ones naturally sought for any and every method by which they could connect with their loved ones. And that many times meant searching for answers beyond the world,beyond the adamantine chains of life and death in the world. Thus came in spiritualism which proposed methods like séance to connect with those who had passed beyond the bounds and claims of the world. Photography,a recently developed and much popular art was much helpful with its tricks to create illusions of angels and ghosts so as to provide some or a little solace to the bereaved families who were ready to believe in anything and trust anyone if they could only have a glimpse of their lost beloveds.

Adele Griffin’s writing is absolutely brilliant. She successfully transported me to Jennie’s world and I smoothly sailed through the book,as if a close confidant to Jennie. Needless to say,I loved Jennie’s character. Though delicate and fragile,Jennie was extremely mature for her age and capable of enduring severe complexity of emotions which could break even the tried and tested ones. Solving the mysteries and putting together the pieces of puzzle with Jennie was a wonderful adventure. Adele Griffin also successfully and very interestingly also portrays the precarious position of women during those times,who had to depend on the male members in their lives if they were to live a respectable life. Jennie however empowers herself throughout the book and overcomes the restraints of the society as she finds a way to support herself at the end. Adele Griffin kept me hooked till the end. The twists and turns in the book were so intriguing. I could never guess what would come after and that for me was a delightful experience. The unpredictability of the book combined with the sinister atmosphere,made it a star for me,unlike anything I have ever read.

Lisa Brown’s illustrations were extremely interesting and Jennie’s scrapbook came alive due to her wonderful artwork. Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown worked together to architecture an innovative and mellifluous ride for us readers.

A magnanimous attempt to weave together literature and art,Picture The Dead for me is a phenomenal book replete with the right amount of mystery and romance,presenting to the readers a very living picture of the contemporary society. ‘Embrace the unexpected’ folks!

MY RATING: 5/5 undoubtedly! Grab your copies today!!


  1. ooooo, sounds fab!

  2. Wow, your review was amazing. Fabulously written, and now I'm dying to read this. ;)