Writer/Illustrator: Craig Thompson
Publisher: Top Shelf
What’s it about?
In an autobiographical tale, Craig Thompson tells the story of his childhood and adolescence, focused through the lens of first teenage love. In many ways, it is a very typical and relatable story of growing up.
Growing up in a fundamentalist Christian family in Wisconsin, Craig struggles with his relationship with his brother, with God, and the other people in his life. Plagued by feelings of inadequacy heaped on him by his parents and other adults, and rejected by his peers at school, Craig is a loner who isn’t quite sure where he fits in this unpleasant, trying world.
At Church Camp as a teenager, Craig meets Raina, a young woman of his own age to whom he is instantly drawn by her apparent loner status and her disregard for the established rules. The camp friendship becomes a letter writing flirtation, which results in Craig spending two weeks visiting her house. All the while, the story is interspersed with tales from his own childhood, showing the many many events that have influenced his development as a brother, a Christian, and a man.
It sounds like a relatively mundane tale, and nothing especially out of the ordinary happens to Craig or to Raina – one traumatic experience from his childhood aside, but he tells the story with such care, and renders his characters with such sympathy and beauty, that somehow a story of teenage love becomes a book that I for one was actually unable to put down.
Read more of this review at: New Readers Start Here!
This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.