Lulu Anew by Étienne Davodeau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First Published: April 1st, 2015
Publisher: NBM Graphic Novels
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Life, Realistic Fiction, Relationships
At the end of yet another unproductive job interview, Lulu, on a whim, takes off for the shore just to get away from it all.
She’s got a husband and kids left bewildered but it’s nothing against them. This is just her time, getting away from the grind and with no other plan than savoring it.
Surprised at her own temerity, she meets other people on the edge of the world. It wasn’t meant to be for long. It wasn’t meant to be anything but in the end thrilling, fun, and possibly dangerous, this improvised experience will make of Lulu a different woman.
I definitely do not condone Lulu’s behaviour. On the one hand, I do understand her need to seek adventure and the simple pleasures of life, because we all need to feel free and unlimited once in a while, and if it takes leaving everything behind, then that’s what must be done.
But then again, we’re talking about leaving three children behind, who still need their mother. Granted, the girl is sixteen, so she would be old enough to take care of the two others, but it shouldn’t be her responsibility.
The husband does nothing, and even quits his job the day Lulu disappears. I don’t feel bad about Lulu leaving him, because they clearly do not, in fact, love each other. They’re staying together more out of necessity and for the sake of the children, my guess is. No passion. Emptiness.
So what does she do? She leaves… for nowhere. To do… nothing at all. She makes no plans. She meets a man and sleeps with him, acting as though in love for the first time. She also makes mistakes along the way. It’s as though she’s starting anew, hence the title.
I loved the narration. Instead of this story being narrated by Lulu herself, it is told by different members of her family. It gives a very mysterious vibe to the story. Like, what happens to Lulu in the end? The author especially tricks us there. But I won’t say more!
In general, Lulu’s sometimes repetitive, sometimes surprising, sometimes shocking adventures were a lot of fun. It sure helped that she was close to the sea… As though she was on vacation—taking a break from her own life, hitting the refresh button as she left.
Quite an interesting story. Lulu herself takes time to warm up to you, especially since she is so elusive and lost, but you know, deep down, that she is a good person who needs to escape… I can’t, even now, give a definite answer on whether what she did was right or wrong, because pros and cons apply, but I do believe prior notice would have been welcome. Couldn’t imagine my own mother disappearing out of the blue. That’s a scary thought.
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