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'Rosalie Lightning' by Tom Hart: EW review

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Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir

Current Status:
In Season
Tom Hart
St. Martin's Press
Graphic Memoir

We gave it an A

Rosalie Lightning is a little girl just like her name—sweet, bright, and full of crackling energy. But one night a few weeks before her second birthday, she goes to bed and doesn’t wake up. Hart’s graphic memoir is his attempt to process the crushing pain of his daughter’s loss, and it’s as harrowing and profound as any literary novel. In scratchy black-and-white panels, he traces the strange parabola of grief: “You’re walking and falling. You’re hurtling and collapsing. You’re here and not here.” Even when Hart’s mind and pen wander—there are musings on Idris Elba and Italo Calvino and old Brian Eno songs—it’s all rooted in his quest to understand, mourn, and celebrate the life that Rosalie will never live, and to learn to find a way to be in the world without her. Which is what Lightning does, not easily but unforgettably. A