Wednesday, 11 April 2018


Finished April 8
Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

This graphic novel is set in a small town in northern Ontario. Derek Ouelette was a major league hockey player, of the type commonly described as a goon. He is back in his home town after causing an injury in a move driven by anger in a game. Derek drinks too much, and lives a bit rough, and doesn't have a lot of friends. He still tends to erupt in violence when he gets angry.
But when his younger sister Beth also returns to town, he must change to accommodate her needs. Beth has left an abusive boyfriend, one who is also in the drug trade.
As Beth struggles to get past her addiction and move on to a new life, Derek must also change. We learn about their parents, and the influence that those parents had on them, both good and bad. As they now realize that they don't know much about their mother's family, they are interested in discovering more about her native background, particularly Beth.
This is a story of finding the support and strength to start again, to learn from mistakes and become a better person.
Lemire's books are always drawn with skill, and this is no exception. I loved the illustrations and how they added to the characterization.

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