Product Details

Graphic Universe (Tm)
Publish Date
7.0 X 9.9 X 0.5 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Manuela Santoni is an illustrator and a cartoonist living in Fonte Nuova in Rome, Italy. Passionate about graphic novels and comics, Santoni works as a freelancer, creates books for children, and publishes her online comic Nowhere Fast at Verticomics.


"Life for Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë seems uncomplicated from the outside: three women who are often at home, adhering to society's standards of meek temperance. Their neighbors would never guess that the sisters' razor-sharp minds were churning with enough tempestuous stories and poetry to scandalize England for decades to come. Cleverly adopting masculine pen names, each sister makes a (false) name for herself as growing notoriety for their literary masterpieces ricochets across every drawing room in the country. Their bravery is borne of desperation as their ailing father grows sicklier by the day, threatening the Brontë family's tenuous hold on financial survival. Even as Charlotte, Emily, and Anne struggle to keep the family afloat, their only brother, Branwell, a failed poet, flits between gambling halls and opium dens, setting himself up for a dismal fate. Throughout countless personal tragedies, the Brontë sisters create some of English literature's greatest romantic novels: Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. In this graphic novel based on the lives of the Brontës, Santoni uses starkly black lines and white space to evokes the blustery moors of Haworth that become the backdrop of many of the Brontës' stories. Each character is drawn to echo their personality; Branwell is dark, drooping, and weak--a noticeable foil to the straight-backed, determined, and piercing sisters. There is visible energy in Santoni's art, conveying each changing mood. VERDICT An enjoyable peek into the Brontë sisters' origin stories, an excellent choice for libraries seeking dynamic graphic novels spotlighting literary figures."--School Library Journal

-- (6/2/2021 12:00:00 AM)

"Sisterly bonds are eternal.

This black-and-white graphic novel opens at a point when the Brontë family is in desperate financial need. Their father is getting sicker each day while their heartbroken brother, Branwell, is ruining himself with opium and alcohol. Charlotte and Anne want to publish their writings to help bring in some income, but Emily refuses to join them, as she says that she writes only for herself. To relieve some of Emily's concerns, her sisters suggest publishing under male pseudonyms, and the Bell brothers, Currer, Acton, and Ellis, are born. Despite some initial rejection and mixed reviews, praise and admiration grow for their published works. Recognizing the need to share who they truly are, the sisters reveal themselves to their father, brother, publisher, and, finally, the world. Soon after, tragedy strikes the family with the untimely deaths of Branwell, rapidly followed by Emily and Anne. In this account of the Brontë family translated from Italian, Santoni's simple, energetic illustration style works well to convey the story's tone. Every bold, sweeping line expresses the family's dire situation and the Haworth parsonage. Each character is portrayed clearly and distinctly, giving sharp clarity to their individual feelings and desires despite the relatively sparse text.

A beautifully illustrated reimagining of the Brontë sisters' lives."--Kirkus Reviews

-- (3/15/2021 12:00:00 AM)