August 31, 1859, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Josey is picking blackberries with her friend Connie. Read more...
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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 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.
- ISBN-13: 9781416935858
- ISBN-10: 1416935851
- Publisher: Atheneum Books
- Publish Date: April 2010
- Page Count: 234
- Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 49.
- Review Date: 2010-01-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Beginning with a quick historical progression through the fictional town of French Hill in Nova Scotia, from the wilderness of 1400 through soldiers in 1775 to one of the story's main characters going for a run in 2009, this visual history, with fascinating detail, sets up the alternating narrations of the book. One takes place in 2009 and tells the story of Tara, while the other, set in 1850, tells the story of a girl named Josey. That the two are linked by blood is evident. They're also each in possession of the same necklace, a small glass pendant containing a drop of mercury with the mysterious ability to prospect for gold. The stories alternate in quick succession, making it sometimes difficult to keep track of narrative threads as crushes, friendships, and parental conflicts develop in both time periods. Larson's drawings are full of motion and life, her characters' faces expressive, and she uses decorative details to illustrate emotions and ideas. Compared with the wonderful art, the story comes up short, with little action for much of the book, but readers may take pleasure instead in the book's atmospheric appeal and the manga-like illustration of fluttery emotional states. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)