I picked this up from NetGalley because I’m a sucker for cute ghosts, but what I encountered really surprised me. Sheets is like nothing I’ve read before…
Book: Sheets by Brenna Thummler
Read before: Never
Ownership: Digital copy from NetGalley (but all opinions are my own and unbiased).
Sheets is a very beautiful book, and not just because of the art. It manages to tie the threads of Marj, a young girl who has lost her mother (and is losing her father to grief), and Wendell, a young ghost who is struggling to accept his death. Thummler weaves these stories together deftly and with such a light hand that the story seems entirely natural, despite the supernatural elements.
I loved the character of Wendell – his anxiety, his attempts to reach out to Marj, and his heart shone out of the pages. While the villain of Sheets is perhaps a little bit of a caricature, it works well in the brightly coloured, simply drawn style of the comic. I really admired Marj for her strength in keeping the laundry going, dealing with her brother, and the sensitivity with which she treated her dad. Even though she would have been well within her rights to lose her temper with her dad for making everything so difficult, she had a real maturity that made it impossible for me not to warm to her.
This is a gorgeous, haunting story depicted in a simple, attractive style. It has a lot to say about grief and acceptance, but it says it quietly, leaving you reflecting long after the final page.
4 out of 5 cats, because I wish it was longer.