Alfred A Knopf, 1998
Ethel and Ernest is a lovely tribute to the author’s parents. Told in graphic novel form, the story stretches from the time they met until their deaths. The story takes place in London and covers the enormous changes that happened in the world from the 1930’s to the early 1970’s.
Ethel was working as a maid and Ernest as a milkman when they met. It was love at first sight. We follow them as they marry and set up housekeeping and eventually welcome their son, Raymond, into the world. The story moves through the decades via the conversations between Ethel and Ernest with some comments from their son.
Times were not always easy, especially during World War II. They saw so many changes during their lifetime – things we don’t even think about today. The addition of the radio, telephone, television and washing machine were major events in their lives.
Ernest was an avid newspaper reader and he loves to tell Ethel about the changes within government and society. Those exchanges are the most humorous of the book.
I took this sample of the book from the publisher’s website so you can see how charming the drawings are. As you can see the writing is clear and easy to read. I especially love the expressions on their faces. I also like the way the author/illustrator depicted his parents as they aged.
I’m very grateful to all my blogging friends who recommended this book. There’s no turning back now. I’ve become a avid graphic novel fan. [And some people are saying, “Imagine that, at her age!”