A Mother's Story by M.E.A. McNeil is an illustrated myth for adults. The concept is unique and in addition the striking appearance of the book is both unusual and functional. The accordion pleated pages, which reach some twenty-four feet pulled out, allow bold block prints to lengthen over many pages like a frieze. The tone of the contents is signaled by a blood red cloth cover on the book and slip case.
The story is based on the Finnish epic, the Kalevala, and recounts the myth of an irresponsible wandering lover, his demise, and his resurrection. It is the story told by Sibelius in his celebrated musical work The Swan of Tuonela.
In an afterword, the author provides background on the myth, tracing its historical evolution from early Mediterranean sources.
Richard Impola, Emeritus Professor of Literature, Columbia University, and dean of Finnish literature translators, wrote of A Mother's Story: "That the Kalevala can inspire a work of this quality is a tribute to its worth."