CBR15Passport Other Country K O’Neill’s graphic novel The Moth Keeper first and foremost has gorgeous illustrations as you usually find in their works. And it has a terribly sweet story. However, due to lack of text, sometimes things are not as “fleshed out” as they could be, making much open to interpretation for the reader. Yet, if you pay attention to things that do not seem important at first, and take your time reading (not to mention be comfortable and do not have many distractions) you will have a smooth ride, as the text and story do flow. It is a romantic setting. And though you will probably want to devour in one sitting, take breaks as things must be absorbed.
I can see a sequel or companion novels to this story about a young child and their desires, their wishes and the things that shape them. As we follow the story of a village that lives in the night, we see how the people of this village depend on the moths for the pollen a tree gives to them. And this pollen is used in everything, including medicines. And while the village prides itself on how it helps each other, they allow the Moth Keeper, to be alone in their duties watching and caring for the moths. And during our young characters journey to become the Moth Keeper, we see how they must face their fears and desires and their feelings of possible failure. O’Neill has a story that is a combination coming of age story and even a bit about mental health. There is a side story I feel could be interpreted as a person’s journey into depression. But also, it shows how we need our communities to help us.
In the end, this book is an experience book. You should take your time reading but allow yourself to enjoy it. There is much going on and it cannot be rushed. And while I like the illustrations, they are a smidgen too polished, but their medium to busy details and burst with color, even when we are in the dark, needs that polish to grab the contemporary reader, and at the same time, keep a classic feeling. The author afterwards is a nice touch about the inspiration for the story.