By Jeff Lemire (story & art)
The Story: Jeff Lemire wraps up his Essex County trilogy with The Country Nurse, a female centric story about Anne Queeneville and the patients she visits on her travels. Much like previous volumes of this series, Queeenville’s tale is supported by another story taking place concurrently in the past. This time, Lemire delves even further back into history into the early 1900s with Sister Margaret, a nun who must deal with a tragedy that befalls upon her orphanage.
What’s Good: Everything. You’ll comb every nook and cranny of this book, gazing at the faces and looking for connections and familiar faces. It’s not exactly a storybook ending to the trilogy, but it ties everything up beautifully in a bitter sweet fashion. The characters here are flawed, alive, and so enduring that you’ll wish their real life counterparts existed. Jeff Lemire is the master of manipulating emotions and his storytelling works effortlessly to tug those heartstrings.
What’s Not So Good: Nothing, other than it’s likely that we won’t see these characters ever again.
Conclusion: If you haven’t read any of the previous chapters of this trilogy I urge you to find those books (Tales From The Farm and Ghost Stories), before reading this final installment. It’ll make the ending that much better for you. The way this book drives itself back further in time and connects the entire trilogy together makes this one of the most gratifying reads I’ve had all year.
– J. Montes