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I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
I think I made you up inside my head.
— Sylvia Plath, “Mad Girl’s Love Song”
A vision-impaired, Victorian spinster in need of primitive cataract surgery has little time for herself between needing to take care of her demanding, bipolar, and invalid sister-in-law, and investigating her brother’s mysterious nighttime activities. To escape it all, she engages in a sexual relationship with a haunted mirror in her bedroom.
Julia Gfrörer’s third graphic novel is another revitalizing and contemporary spin on the grand tradition of gothic storytelling, exploring ideas of abandonment and sexuality with an expert mix of mystery, horror, and nostalgia. As with her two previous and acclaimed graphic novels, Laid Waste and Black Is the Color, Gfrörer’s delicate and dark linework perfectly complements the period era of the book’s setting, bringing the lyricism and romanticism of her stories to the fore.