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Christian College Geelong Senior Library: Lovers of literature

Broken by Elizabeth Pulford

A novel that blends, mystery, family life and the subconcious into an interesting story

Critically injured in a motorbike accident, Zara Wilson lies in a coma. She is caught between the world of her hospital room and that of her memories and a dream-like fantasy where she searches for her elusive brother Jem. Zara’s adventures in her subconscious unlock dark secrets and she must face up to her past in order to accept her future. Broken has graphic novel elements in a hard-edged graphic style reminiscent of 1950s’ comic book.

This novel for high school students is best described as a psycho drama but it is a quite a lot more than that.

Zara is in hospital in a coma,  she can hear what those around her are saying, but cannot respond. She was riding on the back of a Triumph motorcycle, having the best time ever, when her brother Jem swerved to avoid a toddler, crashed and was killed outright.

Jem was into comics and Zara was into drawing and this becomes a great part of the narrative. While going from one medical crisis to another, in her sub-conscious mind Zara goes looking for Jem in his comic world. The font size for these episodes is different and comic book illustrations tell of Zara’s search for Jem.

Angus Gomes illustrations are right on the nail supporting the written text beautifully.

A third aspect of plot, also in different font, tells of an episode in Zara’s past when she was 7 years old. She was abducted by a stranger and Zara has never let anybody except Jem into what went on.

While in a coma this incident is worked through also in Zara’s sub conscious mind.

It sounds complicated but Elizabeth Pulford has told it well. Whether it is psychologically kosher I have no idea but it certainly seemed real to me.

For something different yet classy have a crack at this excellent novel. Review by Bob Docherty ‘Bobs Book Blog’
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July 19, 2012 - Posted by | Graphic Novels | ,

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