Rosalie Lightning is the best book I’ve read this year. It was heartfelt and beautiful but very difficult to experience. Tom Hart’s daughter Rosalie died unexpectedly just two weeks before her second birthday. With words and pictures he recounts those first few weeks after her death. His grief is palpable. It’s raw and gut wrenching at times, but there are moments when he gets a tiny bit of a reprieve. He pays for his daughter’s cremation with his credit card and experiences the indignation of death as a transaction, but when a friend’s toddler plays with Rosalie’s toys he feels an inexplicable joy.
Sometimes I lost the chronology and wasn’t sure about where I was in time. There are no perimeters to the grieving process. Grief is disorderly and nonlinear so it made sense to me to get a little lost. The writing is direct and the variety of drawing styles help to delineate the individual thoughts and emotions that this story pulls you through. I felt my heart in my throat with nearly every page. But, I also felt privileged to share in the human experience of this one man’s love and sorrow.