Set on Wilneff Island in Nova Scotia, Molly Knox Ostertag’s graphic novel The Girl from the Sea revolves around the life of fifteen-year-old Morgan Kwon. Morgan likes to keep her life tucked neatly into boxes, but she finds that plan unraveling when she meets Keltie. Keltie brings a sort of wild, chaotic, fairy-tale magic to Morgan’s otherwise grounded life.
Keltie is a selkie, a seal who transforms into a human to walk on land for a period of time. It is Morgan’s kiss that provides the magic for the transformation. But Morgan wants to keep that part of her life hidden from her friends Serena, Lizzie, and Jules. The foursome comprise a social group in which Morgan isn’t ready to share Keltie. Morgan also hides the complicated and confusing parts of herself from her family.
With pictures and prose, Ostertag shares how Morgan learns to live all the parts of her life without the complicated compartments. Morgan’s mother gives her the best advice when she tells her daughter: “You have to risk letting your life get messy to get to the good parts” (151).
- Posted by Donna