Books to Read Over the Holidays: #4 - Essex County

I honestly thought I would be writing to you about Trillium (2014). A graphic novel I absolutely love and adore. As time drew near to wrap up this series, I found my heart leaning toward another Jeff Lemire book. My favorite Lemire book actually: Essex County.

Essex County is actually the compilation of three graphic novels and a short story:

I could sum it up, but the book jacket really describes it perfectly:

Where does a young boy turn when his whole world suddenly disappears? What turns two brothers from an unstoppable team into a pair of bitterly estranged loners? How does the simple-hearted care of one middle-aged nurse reveal the scars of an entire community, and can anything heal the wounds caused by a century of deception? Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire pays tribute to his roots with Essex County, an award-winning trilogy of graphic novels set in an imaginary version of his hometown, the eccentric farming community of Essex County, Ontario, Canada. In Essex County, Lemire crafts an intimate study of one community through the years, and a tender meditation on family, memory, grief, secrets, and reconciliation. With the lush, expressive inking of a young artist at the height of his powers, Lemire draws us in and sets us free.

This book made me smile, had me in tears, and captured my heart. When people ask me for graphic novel recommendations, this book is always at the top of the list. It is easily one of my top ten favorite books of all time. Plus with the snowy Canadian backdrop, Essex County is the perfect book to read over the holidays or anytime during winter. I do hope you will make this book a part of your life and be sure to share your experience in the comments below. Plus do not forget any of the previous books in this series: Pretty in Ink, David Bowie Is, and Landline.

I'll leave you with some pages from Essex County. I promise you will fall in love with both the story and Lemire's wonderful illustration style: