Graphic Novel: Ethel & Ernest

by Raymond Briggs

Alfred A Knopf, 1998

Ethel and Ernest is a lovely tribute to the author’s parents. Told in graphic novel form, the story stretches from the time they met until their deaths. The story takes place in London and covers the enormous changes that happened in the world from the 1930’s to the early 1970’s.

Ethel was working as a maid and Ernest as a milkman when they met. It was love at first sight. We follow them as they marry and set up housekeeping and eventually welcome their son, Raymond, into the world. The story moves through the decades via the conversations between Ethel and Ernest with some comments from their son.

Times were not always easy, especially during World War II. They saw so many changes during their lifetime – things we don’t even think about today. The addition of the radio, telephone, television and washing machine were major events in their lives.

Ernest was an avid newspaper reader and he loves to tell Ethel about the changes within government and society. Those exchanges are the most humorous of the book.

I took this sample of the book from the publisher’s website so you can see how charming the drawings are. As you can see the writing is clear and easy to read. I especially love the expressions on their faces. I also like the way the author/illustrator depicted his parents as they aged.

I’m very grateful to all my blogging friends who recommended this book. There’s no turning back now. I’ve become a avid graphic novel fan. [And some people are saying, “Imagine that, at her age!”

This entry was posted in 100+ Book Challenge, A Book, Book Challenges, Books, Graphic Novels, Library Challenge and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Graphic Novel: Ethel & Ernest

  1. JoAnn says:

    My favorite graphic novel!! So glad you loved it, too.

  2. I love the drawings! I need to check this book out – it looks marvelous!

  3. His drawings are the best! Wish I could have gotten some better ones for my post the other day. I think once you see the drawings you can’t resist wanting to read the books!

  4. Molly says:

    I don’t know where I’ve been as I have never heard of this one before! While I have struggled with graphic novels in the past, this one is worth giving the genre another attempt. Thanks so much for the terrific review!

  5. Beth F says:

    Uh, oh. I see a graphic novel purchase coming up. I love the drawings.

  6. FleurFisher says:

    I knew when you mentioned this book yesterday that you were going to say you loved this. Irresistable at all ages!

  7. Staci says:

    I say yay!!! Glad you like this genre and can’t wait to see what you’ll pick up next!

  8. stacybuckeye says:

    I love the illustrations! I just checked my second graphic novel out of the library. Time will tell whether I can call myself a fan.

  9. Tami says:

    I’m not a graphic novel fan, but couldn’t resist this one. I have it on order and can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the review.

  10. Louann Reid says:

    I agree with you about Ethel and Ernest. Both the art and the story are charming. I also read When the Wind Blows by Briggs and found it to be quite powerful. The Guardian review is quoted on the back: “Aching with love and bitterness, it is meant to break your heart.” And this book about nuclear war truly does. I highly recommend it.

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