Series: Sheets #1
Thirteen-year-old Marjorie Glatt’s world fell apart the day her mother died. Now, her father can barely leave his room, and Marjorie is left to run the family laundry business by herself. And the detestable Mr. Saubertuck won’t stop sniffing around, trying to sabotage the business so he can have the property.
Wendell is a ghost who cannot accept his own death. He runs away to the land of the living, trying to find himself. When he meets Marjorie, however, his presence might mean the end of the laundry for good.
I tend to enjoy graphic novels that are brightly-colored and have more of a cartoony style. Think Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl, for example. So initially I was hesitant about Sheets, mainly because of the subdued color palette–a mix of greys and blues– and the sketchier art style. The ugliness of the coloring seemed to mirror the ugliness of Marjorie Glatt’s shrinking world, and I was not sure I was prepared to dive into that. I wanted something upbeat. Still, I gave Sheets a chance, and ended up pleasantly surprised.
Sheets tells the intertwined stories of Marjorie, a teenager running her family’s laundry business while her dad shuts himself in his room after his wife’s death, and Wendell, a ghost going to death counseling because he cannot accept that he is no longer living. When Wendell runs away back to the land of the living, their lives collide. Marjorie initially sees Wendell as just another threat to her business. Wendell, however, sees an opportunity for friendship.
The premise of the book is undoubtedly weird. I admit I was skeptical. Over time, however, I began to feel sympathy for Marjorie and Wendell, both of whom were attempting to navigate major changes with either little or ineffective help. Marjorie still hopes her mom can come back and save her. And Wendell is struggling to find meaning, when all his therapy sessions seem to want to do is make him relive the past. Ultimately, Sheets is a story of love and loss, and moving forward.
Sheets is not your typical ghost story. It does not attempt to scare readers or even build suspense. Really, it’s a story about friendship. And one of those friends happens to be dead. So if you want something just a little out of the ordinary, but still heartwarming, Sheets is a good place to start.