on September 27, 2013
We follow Goglu from a very young age up to her teen years in this often heartbreaking debut from Genevieve Castree, who writes and illustrates with soft, subtle restraint.
Goglu is just barely out of diapers when she begins to learn of her mother's drinking...and how to handle it. She and her mother are living in Quebec with her mother's boyfriend, while her father is thousands of miles away in British Columbia. There's quite a bit of pain tucked away in Castree's sparse panels, in which she beautifully captures the oddness and bewilderment of a childhood spent overcompensating for irresponsible adults.
Goglu is a daydreamer, and quite smart as well. She is tough and opinionated. Fascinatingly, she wonders about her own tendencies toward being drawn to sadness. It's something she struggles with, and she reflects on it often. Is she susceptible to it, as the title suggests? Or is she strong enough to become her own person?
Susceptible is only 75 pages, but it's one of those books that feels twice as long. The story is gripping and powerful, without dwelling in morbidity. Instead, it's a rather impressive debut that offers hope amidst its hard-hitting narrative.
on March 30, 2013
After reading a favorable review of this book in my city's newspaper, my interest was elevated and I decided to order "Susceptible" for my 18-year-old daughter who is a fan of graphic novels and any novel that challenges and enlarges the reader's view of the world. She loved it (as did I) and is now passing it on to her friend. This graphic novel captures the isolation of growing up for main character, Goglu. Each page details Goglu's difficulty in maturing through life's stages with her family and friends. Eventually, Goglu does find a sense of her own identity and as a reader, I rejoiced with this fact. This graphic novel does not focus on fantasy for its plot but rather on real-world actions and consequences. What an interesting read this book weaved from beginning to end. The illustrations are absolutely essential and supportive of the narrative. Don't miss reading author Genevieve Castree's "Susceptible".