Depressed and unmoored by his father’s violent death, and drafted into the Canadian military to serve in World War II, Jerome has fled, taking refuge in a cabin his grandfather owns in a remote part of the countryside.
But Jerome’s troubles are only beginning. A strange dread fills the woods, and rumors of murders and ghosts cast his refuge in a sinister light. As Jerome struggles to come to terms with his father’s death, he obsessively seeks to uncover the mystery of what, exactly, happened in his grandfather’s house.
Simon Leclerc’s haunting, expressionistic artwork brings to life a quiet, layered, and deeply literary story from writer Thomas Desaulniers-Brousseau, in a graphic novel that explores with tenderness and insight the wounds opened with the loss of a loved one. goodreads.com
What I Liked
This graphic novel starts off very mysteriously. You are just dropped into a middle of a story and it takes off. You know something big is happening, but you aren’t quite sure what that is, you can feel the excitement.
Another thing I liked was the fact that this dealt with WWII in a different way than I have previously read about. While this part of the book would be classified as historical fiction it was interesting to get the point of view from someone who has fled serving in the military during such a period. It also lends to the tense feelings that fill this book from cover to cover. Not only did you follow this individual you hear updates on the progress of the war throughout the graphic novel and I though it made it very interesting and tied this aspect of the storyline together instead of just using it as a plot point and then ignoring it completely.
Throughout this book there are feelings of something just lingering out of the frames. Something was happening, but you couldn’t figure out what was going to happen and if it would be a criminal or something not from this world.
What I Didn’t Like
The one thing I did not like about this graphic novel was the fact that I felt like it jumped around a lot. I would be getting into a plot point and then all of a sudden it would take you somewhere completely different. Now this could be the author trying to add another layer mystery, but for me it didn’t quite hit the mark.
Overall, I enjoyed this graphic novel. I thought both the historical and spooky elements were spot on. I felt like the art work and writing aided greatly in creating a definitive atmosphere that pulls you in. You, as the reader, want to know more and figure out what is just out of your reach and outside the frame. I will add that there is some talk of suicide in this book, for me I am comfortable with this topic, but I know not everyone is. I think that if you enjoy creepy books that leave you uncomfortable, that you should look into this graphic novel.
website: THOMAS DESAULNIERS-BROUSSEAU
Publisher: First Second Books
Publication Date: August 14th 2018
List Price: $19.99
Pages: 272 pages
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.