Synopses & Reviews
August 31, 5:15 PM, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Tara is running. She runs through her nice neighborhood and up a road to the burned ruins of what was once a beautiful house--her family's house. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The gentle dose of magic realism doesn't feel incongruous and underscores the powerful ways in which past touches present. The insights unfold leisurely, but patient readers will find themselves deeply invested." Booklist
"Classic themes of love, family, betrayal and renewal combine to create multilayered historical fiction that perfectly illustrates how the past continues to influence the present." Kirkus Reviews
"In Larson's fourth girl-centric graphic novel...otherworldly elements enhance the spell cast by Larson's unique parallel stories of treasure lost and found." Horn Book
In Mercury, Hope Larson weaves together history, romance, and magical realism in this graphic novel of how the past haunts a teenage girl's present.
In 1859 French Hill, Nova Scotia, Josey Fraser has just met handsome Asa Curry -- a man with a mysterious and traveled past. While quickly winning young Josey's heart, Asa reveals a secret ability to locate gold on the Frasers' farm. But there is darkness in the woods...and in Asa.
In the same town one hundred fifty years later, Tara Fraser is dealing with the aftermath of her house burning down; a house that has been in her family -- and Josey's -- for generations, when Tara discovers a pendant that turns out to be much more than a simple heirloom. As Josey's story plunges into tragedy, Tara's emerges with the promise of gold.
A compelling combination of history and romance, marked with Larson's signature touch of magical realism, Mercury is a remarkable depiction of two girls tied by blood and separated by time.
In 1859 French Hill, Nova Scotia, Josey has just met a handsome young man named Asa. He knows how to find a treasure of gold in the woods and can bring wealth to her family. But there is darkness in the woods, and in Asa. In the present day, Joseys descendant Tara discovers a mysterious pendant, and with it, the truth about her familys past. Mercury is a compelling combination of history, romance, and a touch of magical realism, as well as a remarkable depiction of two girls tied by blood and separated by time.
About the Author
Hope Larson is the author of Chiggers, Gray Horses and Salamander Dream, the latter of which Publishers Weekly named one of 2005's best comics. She is 26 years old, vegetarian, and lives with her husband, acclaimed cartoonist and graphic novelist Brian Lee O'Malley, in Asheville, NC.