I must admit, when I was first given a copy of this book by a friend, I was coming into it only knowing Niffenegger by the reputation of her novels, which I had not read, and by the film adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife, which I had seen several times as my wife is quite fond of it. But I recall hearing that she was not pleased with the film adaptation. I'll have to go back and read the novel to see what that was all about.
The book is beautiful, and also kind of sad. It is quite minimal in that the text is sparse and the images are used sparingly. It is tragic and also filled with possibility. It is a love story.
It begins with that of a postman wandering off the trail of his normal route, and finding a raven that he takes home. They fall in love and have a child, a hybrid, part girl, part raven. She feels lost, somehow not complete, and her story is a search for the part of herself that feels trapped inside her human frame.
The book is designed more as an illustrated short story, or fairy tale in this case, with pages of text, full pages of art, and other pages where there is text and art on the same page. Niffenegger's drawings are creepy and reminiscent of Tony Millionaire in her line work.
The packaging is beautiful, as Abrams books often are. The only sore sight for me is the back cover, blank except for an image of a crow at the bottom, it felt a bit like that space could have been used for a bit of descriptive text or at least a larger illustration. But that is just the book seller in me talking. Otherwise the design and packaging was superb. And I really thought it was an odd but cool book.