Monday, June 28, 2010

Mercury-- Hope Larson

This beautifully illustrated graphic novel details two young women's coming of age in Nova Scotia, but in vastly different time periods.

1859: Josey lives on a farm with her parents, and one day a traveling salesman type gold prospector, Asa, stops by. He lures in her father, and before she knows it, Asa has integrated himself inextricably from their lives... and Josey's heart. Asa has in his possession a unique necklace that has a bead of quicksilver in it, which ends up in Josey's hands at a key moment in time.

Present Day: Tara loves nothing more than the rickety old farm house her family has owned for generations. But when a tragic fire decimates their home, Tara's mother is forced to sell the land in order to make ends meet. But when Tara hears a rumor that gold is buried on their property, she feels like this is her only chance to save her childhood homestead.

Josey and Tara's stories are told in alternating sections, and Larson does a beautiful job of making each story distinct, but overlap in a way to make the story cohesive. Along with the storyline, details about the girls' lives are included to flesh out the details and make the reader feel involved with coming of age.

I would recommend this book to fans of graphic novels, particularly the stand-alone type, or fans of historical fiction who are looking to expand their reading selections. Fans of Stitches by David Small, Blankets by Craig Thompson, or American Born Chinese by Gene Lee Yang might like this for its coming of age/memoir-esque format.

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