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August 31, 1859, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Josey is picking blackberries with her friend Connie. As the girls gossip, a handsome stranger knocks on the door of Josey's house. His name is Asa, and with his coming, Josey's life--and...
August 31, 1859, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Josey is picking blackberries with her friend Connie. As the girls gossip, a handsome stranger knocks on the door of Josey's house. His name is Asa, and with his coming, Josey's life--and later in time, Tara's as well--is about to change forever.
Because there is treasure in the woods that belong to Josey's family. Gold--an untold fortune. Asa has a secret way of finding it, and his partnership with Josey's father could make them all rich. But there is darkness in the woods, and in Asa. And in the present day, Tara, Josey's descendent, is about to discover the truth about what really happened in the family's past.
Eisner award winner Hope Larson weaves together history, romance, and a touch of her trademark magical realism in this remarkable graphic novel of how the past haunts a teenage girl's present.
*"The storytelling, both in words and pictures, brilliantly offers details from Canadian history and modern life. The dialogue varies from funny to poignant. An excellent graphic novel.” --School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
*"Lost treasure, mother love and misbegotten romance form the bases of this richly rewarding intergenerational graphic novel. . . . Larson skillfully maintains suspense . . . Classic themes of love, family, betrayal and renewal combine to create multilayered historical fiction that perfectly illustrates how the past continues to influence the present." --Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
"Larson's greatest strength is in artfully depicting the small but telling moments of adolescence. Beautiful black-and-white interior illustrations, touches of magical realism and a spot-on ear for teen dialogue make this a great pick for tweens and young teens." --Publishers Weekly Children's Bookshelf
Posted March 10, 2010
Are you looking for a graphic novel to try for the first time? Or you are already a fan of the genre? In either case, look no further than Hope Larson's MERCURY.
MERCURY is a story told in two voices: Josephine and Tara. Separated by over 100 years, the two girls are connected far more than Tara could imagine.
The story starts in the present. Tara is currently living with her aunt and cousin because the old farmhouse she had lived in with her mother has burned down. The fire has forced her mom to look elsewhere for work. So in the meantime, Tara is back at the school she attended until her mom started homeschooling her two years previously.
In the past, Josephine's family is approached by a drifter, Asa. The traveling gentleman has discovered there is gold located on their farm. For a part of the profits, he is willing to help Josephine's father mine the gold.
Tragedy happens both in the past and the present, but a mysterious necklace seems to hold the key to what happened before and could help Tara eliminate problems in the now.
You may wonder where the title comes from. If you pick up MERCURY and give it a go, the mystery will be solved. Ms. Larson slowly builds the story until the ending starts to come together into a whirlwind of a crescendo. The plot is woven brilliantly. It took quite a few pages until I was able to predict the outcome. Which in my opinion is always a plus!
The illustrations are creative and the distinction between the past and the present is clearly depicted. Even though the story is told in graphic form, there were moments clearly expressed showing budding romance, creepy environs, anger, mistrust, adventure, and any other myriad of feelings.
MERCURY is not to be missed. It has put Hope Larson on my list of authors to watch.