Summer Spirit looked out from the top shelf. I am not sure how I saw it as my little over 5-foot frame does not usually see that far above my head! But once you learn the story, maybe you will think some supernatural events took place, making my eyes be drawn upwards. Or not. After all, ghosts are not real. No matter what Elizabeth Holleville says in their young adult graphic novel.
Louise, her sister, and their cousins spend part of the summer with their grandmother. They are now teenagers, but Louise is still young, wanting to capture the magic of past years. Yet, that is hard. Their grandmother is becoming more forgetful, the older girls want to smoke, talk about boys, hang out with boys, kiss boys (and even girls) and will sneak out at night. And when Louise meets a ghost of someone tied to the family’s past, the supernatural comes to life and things will never be the same. In fact, this might be the last summer Louise spends in the Mediterranean. Alive anyway.
This is a spooky story of growing up. There are several mature themes (sexuality, masturbation, casual pot use, and the death of a dog) that make this not appropriate for an audience under 14. The art is simplistically complicated. There is little color, except for blues and tan. There are details that flesh out the story (curves of hips, the dogs stretched out body as he runs, the room filled with photographs on the walls and stands) but are also minimal. This otherworldly aspect makes the story move quickly, but also giving you parts of the story text cannot portray.
Ghosts might not be real, but this book is a real interesting read. Translated from the French.