Broken by Elizabeth Pulford. Illus. Angus Gomes
Broken by Elizabeth Pulford. Illus. by Angus Gomes. Pub. Walker Books, 2012.
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.