Rosalie Lightning (★★★★★)

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Tom Hart  *  St. Martin’s Press *  January 12, 2016  *  272 Pages

I don’t usually read graphic novels, but the description of Rosalie Lightning caught my attention, so here I am. I can’t believe how powerful this book is. It is stunning. Heartbreaking. The text is incredible on its own, but coupled with the pictures…I mean, there are no words to describe it. Reading this book is pure feeling. All you do is experience the author’s pain along with him.

Some of my favorite parts:

The part where he talks to a pregnant woman right after his baby dies, and he describes himself, draws himself, as shattered obsidian.

The part where he draws “Images You’ll Get Used to While Grieving Your Lost Child: crackers, fruits, and meats in little gift boxes; oranges peeled, never eaten; your spouse on the ground; you on the ground.” The part where he describes his past (a sketch of his baby playing in the grass), his present (a sketch of him wide- and bleary-eyed on the ground), his future (a solid square of blackness).

The many parts where he shows what his child was like–and then what she could have been, but will never be.

So basically, I cried. A lot.

There is light at the end of this book–or maybe I should say growth. I love the last story Hart shares. In fact, I was surprised by the solidly–almost defiantly–hopeful ending. (Maybe Hart was, too?)

My heart goes out to him and his wife. I hope they find peace (and at least a little bit of joy) after such a horrible tragedy.

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