The Lighthouse

NBM. Feb. 2017. 64p. ISBN 9781681120560. $15.99. HISTORICAL FICTION
OrangeReviewStarThis beautiful tale from Spanish creator Roca (Wrinkles) centers on Francisco, a young Republican guard in the Spanish Civil War. Injured, frightened, and running, he stumbles upon Telmo, the old caretaker of a lighthouse. Telmo nurses Francisco back to health while regaling him with stories of his youth and his goal of sailing to an island that, according to legend, is paradise. Together, they work toward making that goal happen. Roca's illustrations have clear lines and lend a sense of innocence to a time fraught with violence and angst. The story might be brief, but the relationship between Francisco and Telmo will stick with readers long after they finish the book. Themes of determination, imagination, and aspiration are prevalent throughout.
VERDICT Anyone can pick up this volume and enjoy it slowly. Roca's art shines brightest, pulling readers into his world, but it's Francisco's and Telmo's friendship that will haunt them. For fans of Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist, Yann Martel's Life of Pi, and other stories of friendships that inspire hope.

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