Review: Luisa: Now and Then
The hardest thing one must come to realize about one’s self is either you must take the path put upon you or you take a path of your choosing. This is not as easy as it sounds and it never is. I remember when I was in high school I had no desire to join the military. The only plans I had was to hopefully get a basketball scholarship and go to a college where I can get a college degree. This all changed when one morning. In my high school, they told all seniors to report to the school library where we all had to take the ASVAB test and as they say, “the rest is history”.
Now more than 20 years later those same dreams I had looks like a “fantasy” compared to what my life has been. I don’t regret any of it but I can only imagine where my life would have gone if I had taken a different path. I can only imagine for many of my friends in high school how different their worlds would have been, if they have gone the route I went. In Carole Maurel’s (adapted by Mariko Tamaki) Luisa: Now and Then one such young lady grapples with self-acceptance and sexuality as the protagonist is presented as a teenager and as a 32-year-old.
We meet Luisa at 15 years old and 32 years old, on a seemingly ordinary day, as both are intertwined. Both selves of Luisa are in the same time and space. Her older self has just realized who she is with the help of a friendly stranger. Slowly the older Luisa starts to put the details together as her younger self had been hiding a part of herself in her diary that she is secretly in love with a girl. What follows is an actual series of talks between her 15 year old self and her 32 year old self. Not everything is going as good as one would hope as the fact that they occupy the same time and space is starting to influence both. By book’s end, Luisa not only accepts who she is. Luisa knows who she is and loves freely.
Overall, an excellent book which tackles identity, sexuality, family pressures, and love in all its splendor. The story by Maurel is funny, relevant, poignant, and fascinating. The art by Maurel, is sumptuous, naturalistic, and elegant. Altogether, a book that gives time travel fans a prolonged scene in 273 pages of the sequence fans of Back To The Future II we would have liked to seen between the younger and older versions of Elisabeth Shue’s Jennifer seeing herself.
Story: Carole Maurel Art: Carole Maurel Adapted by: Mariko Tamaki
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy