Friday, 17 December 2010
Although Danica Novgorodoff's Slow Storm is a good 170+ pages in length the sparsity of the written narrative makes this book a short one sitting read. It's sort of a character piece about a Mexican illegal immigrant, Rafi, and Ursa, a somewhat unloved female firefighter who spends most of her working hours fighting a sometimes vindictive sibling rivalry with her brother and fending off the unwanted advances of another of her workmates. Their brief connection occurs at a time of emotional crisis when Ursa is at breaking point and Rafi is caught in the fallout. It sort of works with some quite poignant scenes though the best thing about the book is the quality of the artwork. The character linework can look a bit too simplistic but taken as a whole it does succeed in both telling the story and painting the emotional landscape. The literal landscapes of Kentucky and its sky and weather painted in startling watercolour washes are superb. Combining storms and weather with mental turmoil is a much used device but the art is good enough to break through any possible triteness. Although on the surface very little is happening there is a lot going on below the surface. Relationships, family, religion, homesickness, dreams, resentment, guilt, wonder, love, hope, freedom - the list goes on. Well worth a look.