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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Review: Rosalie Lightning

Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir - Tom Hart

In many ways Rosalie Lightning is a powerful graphic memoir, but in as many ways it lacks the cohesion and beauty necessary to create a universally moving portrayal of loss. Clearly, this is an extremely personal work, so I'm hesitant to speak ill of it. Nor should I speak ill, as my only complaint about the book is a matter of perspective and all my other feelings toward the book are either positive or neutral. There are images in this memoir that I doubt will ever leave me (certainly, I will never look at a Corn Maze the same); Hart has done a fantastic job isolating some of Rosalie's most striking moments and making them light up on the page. It's the jumble of the story that I think keeps the reader at a distance. These are the thoughts of a grieving parent who is remembering the most warming and sorrowful moments of his daughter's life. It's an important work for him and his family. It's a beautiful tribute to a little girl. But it's perhaps a little too close to the loss to give the wider audience a proper perspective. This is a memoir of what happens on the inside of a person suffering loss. That's not a bad thing, by any means, but in a book such as this, I would guess that the hope is that the reader feels a strong attachment to the child, not so much to the dark turmoil of the author.