cover image Mary Rose

Mary Rose

Geoffrey Girard. Adaptive, $12.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-945293-36-8

Girard (Project Cain) undertakes a spooky modern reimagining of J.M. Barrie’s ghostly 1920 play, using a continuous string of scares and questions to propel his story. Philadelphia lawyer Simon Blake is worried about his eccentric artist fiancée, Mary Rose Morland, who often wanders away to stare into windows and mirrors. On a trip to her native England, Simon learns from Mary’s attentive father and frosty mother that, when she was six, Mary Rose disappeared for a month while vacationing on an uninhabited Scottish island known for its druidic rituals, Satanists, and hoodlum teenagers. The girl reappeared with no memory of the incident, but since then she has drawn pictures of a faceless child accompanied by a large doglike figure. Obsessed with learning the truth, Simon uncovers a haunted house, scrying mirror, and somber druids who claim the island is a portal to another world. Jubilant and childlike, Mary Rose wants to return to the island for her honeymoon; of course this goes badly. Girard’s eerie descriptions exploit the fear of the unknown and the unnatural, and secretive characters, including the enigmatic island, hide their intentions. This is a nightmarish tale of repressed memories and misdirection. (Oct.)