CBR15Passport New Authors to me
Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars: A Graphic Memoir is a bittersweet story of living with a child who has an incurable condition. It is spiritual, realistic, and surreal all at once. Sometimes the tone is a bit on the romantic side, but it is a forgivable offense as this is a love story to the child as much as a memoir of the fathers.
I have never been a mother, though an aunt three times (plus various “adopted nieces and nephews” over the years) and I have wondered and worried about the child “after.” What if they have a deformity? Or are mentally challenged? (I learned with oldest nephew to watch out for him as he likes being a big ol’ stink butt! His neurodiversity made him no different from other kids!) Or delayed in some manner? Or what if they get hit by a car? Play with a hornet’s nest? Or decide to jump over the trash can and dislocate their shoulder? (Okay, that one I didn’t worry about, but it was the one that happened). I mean, we hope they “will be healthy” and grow up to be happy. But what happens when that is not going to be the case?
I cannot image what Rick Louis was going through when he and his wife Emily were told that their son Ronan had Tay-Sachs. I had heard of it but had no idea of what that meant. Well, we learn. In straight forward, but scientifically, manner we learn of what Ronan would go through. We learn of the “never haves” the Louis family would never have. One of the largest? They may never have a third birthday with their child. This and more are laid out by the words of a father who, even after his son’s death, is trying to find out who he was, is and will be. It is also wonderfully illustrated by the fantastical illustrations of Lara Antal. The artwork is (as the cover shows) how the surreal nature can come into play. There are minimal details, and the colors are only a handful of basic colors.
Some people might cry at this book, and while I was sad, I also saw the hope of the book. This is not a book where a child dies, but how he lived during the few years he did have.