Mercury by Hope LarsonMercury by Hope Larson


byHope LarsonIllustratorHope Larson

Paperback | April 6, 2010

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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.

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.
Title:MercuryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:April 6, 2010Publisher:415231986Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1416935886

ISBN - 13:9781416935889

Appropriate for ages: 12


Rated 5 out of 5 by from I really enjoyed this This is a two stories that unfold a scene or so at a time. In one, it's the 1860s and the story is about finding gold on a farm in Nova Scotia. In the second, it's 2009 and the descendants of the people in the first story are living in the same place and doing life. I really enjoyed it. Some supernatural stuff and some treasure hunting. Hope Larson knows how to make a powerful graphic novel.
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical Realism and Historical Fiction Connect in Nova Scotia Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist. The artwork is tremendously eye-catching in this, my first foray into Larson's work. Black & white can be extremely effective in the hands of a pro and Hope Larson is such an artist. I was caught up in the artwork throughout the story and I think that the b/w captures a mood both for the historical fiction aspect as well as the magical elements that colour would never have conveyed. This story takes place in small town Nova Scotia, Canada and switches back and forth from a modern family and their 1859 ancestors who have lived on the same property until two months ago when Tara's house burnt down. Now she is living nearby with relatives while her mother has gone to work in the oilfields of Alberta to make some money for them. Switch to 1859 and we have Josey and her family who meet Asa, a young man who has an uncanny talent for finding gold and who courts Josey as they fall in love. The family's life changes with the finding of gold and descends into tragedy. While back in the present Tara is given an old family heirloom necklace, which she soon finds to have a strange power, from this point on her family's life takes a turn toward a bright future. Both girl's are each other's counterpoint in time and they experience romance and love for the first time. The book started off a bit awkward for me. It took some getting into the story, as the switches back and forth in time are short and quick. It also took me a few switches to realize that the past pages were bordered with black, the only indicator that a switch had taken place. Once one gets used to this, the story comes alive and, for me, got better and better as it went along. I didn't have any connections to the past characters except for not liking any of them. The mother was strict, unfeeling and Josey was very naive; I liked the men even less. However, in the present I really enjoyed Tara's character. Her behaviour, way of speaking and attitude were all consistent with an intelligent, yet self conscious teenage girl. I really enjoyed how the two stories were connected to each other and how the plots were in contrast of each other. One a dark descent into tragedy, the other dependant on the circumstances of the past, brings hope and a possible bright future for the down & out characters. One thing I found amusing, as a Canadian, were all the footnotes for the Canadianisms as if it were a foreign language. LOL! I can understand non-Canadians not knowing what a loonie is even though it is funny reading the definition. But do people really not know where oil is located in Canada? Any Canadian could tell you where it is in the US. And dinner? does that need defining? What about a "soaker"? I never realized that was Canadian. Do Americans not get soakers when they step in puddles? And one that had me was kims for kilometres. I've never heard that word used in my life; it must be regional. We always say the whole kilometres, though when we were kids we used to say klicks. But I think that was an '80s thing because my kids have never said it. Very entertaining, were the footnotes, indeed! There was a short conversation about homeschooling which I found to be in bad taste and cliched but otherwise a very interesting story. I do wish the ending were more finite, as it is left up to the reader to decide what the final outcome will be, and I prefer my books to tell me how it ends. But I think this book is going to appeal to teens and critics alike and I won't be surprised to see it turn up on other award lists or "Best of" lists at the end of the year.
Date published: 2010-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful tale This is my fourth graphic novel this year. I am surprised that at 40 years of age I am being drawn to graphic novels. I started with authors like Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci, because I enjoyed their other works. Hope helped illustrate Geektastic, one of my favorite books this year, so I wanted to check out some of her other works. This is a story told in two parts, the first in 1859 and the second in 2009. It is a story of a family, generations apart, but in part reliving the same events, tragedy and loss. Josey Fraser lives in 1959 in French Hill, Nova Scotia. She has fallen in love with a young man named Asa Curry. Asa has found gold on his father's farm. In the same farm house 150 years later, Tara Fraser is dealing with the destruction of the farmhouse and her life being turned upside down; she is given a family heirloom and it seems to help her find what she is wishing to find. The two stories are told alternately on pages of black with white or white with black. Josey's story is on black pages illustrated in white and Tara's are white pages illustrated in black. The pages have a wide variety of frame layouts and are wonderfully illustrated in just black and white, without using grayscale. Hope Larson is an Eisner Award winner, the highest honor for comic artists. She has developed a large and loyal fan base. The way she combines her art and words, forming a single powerful narrative, is inspiring to her readers. This is a story told across time, but bound by blood. It is reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle's An Acceptable Time. Larson's current project is a graphic novel adaptation of L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Reading this book will spark the imagination and bring out dreams, and will cause you to consider the history presented within this story and also your own personal story - your family history. I met L'Engle a number of years ago and she said her characters are real to her. Every now and again she would get a flash of where they are now and what they are up to. I wonder what Tara is doing a year later, what she will be doing in 5 or 10 years? Maybe someday Larson will tell us that tale. (First Published in Imprint 2010-06-04.)
Date published: 2010-06-06

Editorial Reviews

*"The beautifully rendered black-and-white drawings capture the gorgeous, magical, and mundane details of both time periods. The tales are by turns mystical, funny, suspenseful, and tender. Graphic novels make great fodder for voracious readers and offer encouragement to reluctant ones, and it is supremely satisfying to see yet another excellent girl-focused offering from Larson." --Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW