Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Country Nurse by Jeff Lemire

Anne Quenneville is a travelling nurse in Essex County in southern Ontario. Scenes of her daily routines visiting contemporary patients are interposed with those of an orphanage in the same area in 1917. The connections between the people in both timelines are neatly stitched together like the patchwork quilt that Anne sews in the evenings.

This is the third volume in a trilogy and it completes the story lines from the first two: Tales from the Farm and Ghost Stories. (They are also now available in one collected volume, Essex County.) It is best to read them all in order to get the full effect of this subtle and rather mournful portrait of country folk. Lemire's black and white artwork isn't beautiful but it is compelling and full of emotion. His storytelling is amazing.

Suitable for Grade 9 to adult.

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