ACHUKA Book of the Day 16 Nov 2023
“It’s a rare treat when a story containing so much darkness can also be such an engrossing and propulsive read. Debaye’s perfectly-paced debut captures the perils and intensity of adolescence, and rewards the reader with gorgeously illustrated scenes that hit right in the gut.”
Lee Lai, Stone Fruit
“An honest, startling, and terrifically skillful depiction of the deep wounds that can grow out of trauma and life as a young outsider.” Sophie Yanow, The Contradictions
“About what can all too easily happen to young people when adults turn away, distracted either by their own problems, or by the complacent conviction that no child of theirs has any right really to be unhappy.” Guardian
“Readers will be haunted by this simultaneously modern and painfully timeless tale.” Publishers Weekly
Winner of the first (2023) Philippe Druillet Prize for comics, The Cliff is a moody, visceral glimpse into pre-teen life, unflinching in its portrayal of trivialized cruelties alongside simple joys. Manon Debaye is an illustrator and cartoonist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Zadig, Biscoto, and Zeit Wissen. Debaye is also the co-founder of the small press collective Mokki. This is her first graphic novel.
Schoolyard outcasts Charlie and Astrid meet up after school near a cliff at the edge of the woods surrounding their sleepy town. They make a blood pact to jump together in five days time, before their thirteenth birthdays.
Can the intensity of their bond survive the scrutiny of their peers, or will it crumble under the sum of each other’s disappointments?
Manon Debaye’s characters live in a world just on the periphery of adult supervision, where kids prey upon one another with casual aplomb only to find themselves completely out of their depth. A deft use of coloured pencils brings sleepy but barren suburban landscapes to the fore, further capturing childhood’s last pivotal moments as it teeters on the edge of adolescence.
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