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Dan and Sam are a golden couple: happily married, owners of a popular London restaurant and looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together – until a tragedy changes everything. When Sam dies in his arms after an accident, Dan cannot imagine life without her. But love, it seems, is stronger than death and Dan is granted a reprieve – Sam can return to him for one night of the year, every year, until he falls in love again. And though Dan knows that no one could ever take Sam’s place in his heart, he soon faces an impossible choice…
There’s are possible spoilers ahead. They’re suggested on the blurb though, so I dunno. Read at your own risk *cue dramatic music*
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a graphic novel, and I have to say, Dan and Sam is a damn good book. The story of love and loss, the pairing of renowned author Mark Watson and amazing illustrator Oliver Harud is a match made in literary heaven. With a storyline that will leave you torn apart, and raw, heartfelt illustrations, Dan and Sam really knows how to tug the heartstrings.
The story follows Dan, and his wife Sam, who run a small restaurant. After Sam dies in a tragic accident, Dan is left shattered. However, he discovers that Sam can come back to him for one day a year – if she stays the only one he loves.
I love the touch of magic realism the book had. There were no explanations for why Sam came back for one day each year: the reader was left to decide for themselves. Personally, I like to think that Dan and Sam’s love for each other was so unconditional that not even death could tear them apart 😽
However, as with most things, there are the terms and conditions, and for this story, these were that Sam could only come back if she remained Dan’s one and only love.
Here’s where the dilemma comes in. When he meets a new woman, does he have to lose Sam all over again, after just learning that he can still briefly be with her? Or does he stay with Sam for one night a year and lose the concrete relationship of this new woman? Well, I won’t tell you, but you can find out!
This book raises a lot of question about love. True love, eternal love, one-and-only love, unconditional love, all kinds of love. Is a moment of wild, passionate love worth a lifetime of “normal” love? Do we really only understand the true value of people close to us once they’re gone? What would you do with your life if you knew today was your last day? Is there such thing as fate? How can we possibly open a new door when another closes when we do? Is there such thing as true love? All the answers to these questions and more in this amazing little gem of a graphic novel. Prepare for an emotionally traumatising ride (in a good way)!
Thank you to Pan MacMillan for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest opinion!
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★ 10/10
Dan and Sam is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.
- Title: Dan and Sam
- Author: Mark Watson and Oliver Harud
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Picador (October 22nd, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN10: 9781447276371
- URL: Pan Macmillan, Amazon