Lydie by Zidrou
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On a forgotten cul-de-sac in a nameless city, a child is born. It doesn’t take long for the charming little girl to work her way into the hearts of all the residents on this cozy little street. Does it really matter that she’s invisible? The child’s mother delivered a stillborn, fatherless baby. Two months later, she becomes convinced that her child has returned from heaven. The neighbors don’t have the heart to tell her otherwise, and so they play along. After all, “why bring somebody pain when it’s so easy to bring joy instead?” …But is Lydie really a figment?
Warnings: death of child, animal death
A heart-warming story about a whole community of people going along with a young woman’s delusion that her still-born baby was returned to her. Lydie is mostly a touching story about people not wanting to cause undue pain, with a little bit of paranormal thrown in. When Camille first sees her child back 2 months after her death, most of the town doesn’t know what to do with it. An older woman jumps to reassure her when she is being bullied by kids over her dead child and that’s when the whole town’s concerted effort to play along truly begins.
For Camille’s sake, they pretend Lydie exists, even including her in every normal child activity – just to spare her the pain of realizing that it is not true. Heck, even the children of the neighborhood play along. But over time, the story shifts from the point of view of the reader. There are signs that Lydie is there, in a way, always, and the book leaves us with proof that maybe she was, or their efforts in making her real for Camille truly made her so.
The highlight of the book is of course the story – a sweet story like this is meant to be moving, obviously. The other is the art – it is beautiful in its own way, with dynamic scenes and good artwork. Coupled with that, the story being narrated from the point of view of a statue of the Virgin Mary adds another supernatural element to this story.
In short, a beautifully drawn story that will move you, and have faith in humanity.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Europe Comics, via Netgalley.