Mercury is Hope Larson's second graphic novel to make it to the Cybils' short list. It's two parallel stories that take place at the same home but centuries apart. The setting is French Hill, Nova Scotia, modern day and 1859.
In the present, Tara is running to the charred remains of her ancestral home. She and her mother lost everything and now her mother is miles away trying to scrape together enough money to provide her herself and her daughter.
In 1859 a grifter comes to the family home and with tales of gold. He also woos the daughter, Josephine, much to the mother's disgust.
Connecting the two stories are the house and a necklace with magical properties. What the necklace is and how it works is the central part of this multigenerational story.
The parallel story structure is tight and engrossing. I'm still not entirely a fan of Larson's artwork. The lines are heavy and the scenery is crowded. I often feel claustrophobic when I read her books. I would, though, love to see what she could do with a full color book as her covers are always so enticing.