Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Mercury Paperback – April 6, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 8 Up—Set in Nova Scotia, this book relates two coming-of-age stories in tandem, showing how the past interweaves with the present. In the present, Tara and her mother have lost their old farmhouse in a fire, and Tara's mother is struggling to support them from far away while Tara lives with relatives. She loved the old house and wants to rebuild it, but her mother is pressured to find a job elsewhere. In 1859, Josey, Tara's ancestor, falls in love with a gold dowser who has convinced her father to open a mine. Her mother, who has supernatural sight, is sure that the dowser means no good. The stories collide as Tara goes searching for the gold said to have been hidden on her property, and Josey's tale reveals how it came to be hidden. Elements of the supernatural echo in both settings as Josey experiences the same visions her mother has and Tara discovers that she has a knack for dowsing. Though the end of the story leaves things hanging for Tara and her mother, the actions that the girl takes to gain control of her destiny suggest that she will find a way to achieve her goals. The storytelling, both in words and pictures, brilliantly offers details from Canadian history and modern life. The dialogue varies from funny to poignant. An excellent graphic novel, particularly for fans of Faith Erin Hicks's The War at Ellsmere (Slave Labor, 2008).—Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Larson (Chiggers, 2008) won an Eisner Award for Special Recognition in 2007 and is establishing an oeuvre of thoughtful, girl-centric graphic novels that often feature touches of unobtrusive fantasy, lending a dreamy quality that helps characterize her distinctive storytelling style. Mercury tells two tales: one of Josey, who lives in a small Canadian town in 1859; and the other of her descendant, Tara, who has returned to the same town in 2009, a year after her house burned to the ground. Tenth-grader Tara’s burgeoning relationships and her difficulty reacclimating to her old school will be more identifiable than Josey’s forbidden courtship with itinerant prospector Asa, but the use of two time lines delineates the different eras’ outlooks on family and romance, which brings some immutable human truths into high relief. 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. Comparisons to Craig Thompson’s Blankets (2003) wouldn’t be inappropriate, but Larson continues to perfect her own unique style and offers something the graphic format is sadly short on: a coming-of-age story for girls. Grades 9-12. --Jesse Karp --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
I don't want to give away too much of the plot, which unfolds very naturally, so that tossed-off comments in Tara's time illuminate Josey's past. What's history for Tara also foreshadows what's to come for Josey & her family, as they host a handsome young stranger in their home, who promises a treasure of gold waiting to be found ... but for Josey, the promise is one of love & marriage, as well.
The art is especially lovely & evocative. Larson uses a flowing, organic line that practically quivers on the page, imparting a certain dreamlike quality to the story. She has a delightful habit of adding tiny labels to details in a panel, avoiding the trap of mannered cuteness & adding a genuinely tender, magical touch. Yet the feeling of an everyday world, one we all know, is never lost. The story comes first, and the stylistic flourishes always serve the story.
This is marketed for younger readers, but it's that rare thing: a real all-ages book, one that can be enjoyed by adults as much as teens. Tara's & Josey's emotions ring true, whether a younger reader is experiencing them for the first time, or an older reader is remembering them from childhood. As much as I've loved her earlier work, starting with "Salamander Dream," I eagerly look forward to what she creates next!
One issue with the book is that the end is "off". The book has some supernatural tendencies throughout the book, and they do come through a little stronger in the end. It really isn't as much the supernatural that causes the book to "jump the shark"--it's that some of the plot-lines are tied up too neatly and too quickly. And even though they're tied up unnaturally quick, the characters don't react to the weirdness. The end sucks the realism right out of the characters.
BUT, the story as a whole is interesting, the characters seem like real teenagers, the second time-line helps keep things interesting, and the artwork is pretty good. So even though the ending made me want a better ending, I enjoyed the book. And I'd like to read more by the author. So I still think it's pretty good.
First of all the artwork, the style is fine but I felt like there were only 1-2 templates the people were drawn from, and without powerful characterization I often found myself double checking who everyone was. Given that the story seemed to rely heavily on meaningful looks and emotional expressions this didn't gel well.
Second the story was worthy, but I felt lacked real tension. The basic premise centers around an old-timey gold-rush era family and a modern family and their various trials. On an intellectual level the tales were linked well and should have made sense, but between the complaint above and little to alert the reader which time-span you were in I often found myself having to check the characters clothing to remind myself which story I was in. The old-time family probably held more drama as we see a family react to the appearance of a charming but suspicious stranger, and I could see what the story of the modern family was portraying but I felt it was a little flat. I'll probably have to use some SPOILERS to explain so...
SPOILERS AHEAD sorry
The story is basically about a young teenage heroine, who has to live with friends(relatives) due to tough circumstances, the tension is meant to sit with her families lack of income and the likelihood of having to move to another town so her mother can work, but she is settling in 'French Hill' and even has a boyfriend (ooooo). The story is wound up when our MC magically discovered a sack of gold (which was lost/hidden in the old-timey story). Anyway my problem with all this is not so much the details (as I mentioned intellectually its a good story) its more that the narrative didn't make me feel it, most of her story-line seemed just seemed to follow a hard done by teenager, sure moving away from your boyfriend sucks but it never really felt that bad (especially compared to the historic tale)
There was an awesome blurt of supernatural towards the end, which was really cool but probably underused and not really explained (it was probably deep cultural metaphoric stuff lost on an idiot like me but whatever) but I think ultimately Mercury could have thrived better as a fleshed out novel or with more story arc.