“The One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki was one of my favorite comics that we have read this semester. The comic had one theme that stood out to me and was consistent throughout the book and affected all of the characters and that was depression.
The mom of Rose, Alice, was going through a lot throughout the book. The beach was a rough place for Alice because she had miscarried a baby that last time they were there. Alice stood in the water at the beach and she claims to have “felt the baby” pass. Not only does her depression affect her but it also effects everyone around her. Each character has to deal with it in one way or another throughout the novel.
In the scene from Page 100 above, you can clearly see that there is already tension within the family surrounding Alice’s depression. Rose’s parents are often fighting due to the sadness surrounding the miscarriage. After the parents finish fighting on the next page, Rose runs to her room and locks her mom out. She doesn’t want to talk to Alice because she really doesn’t understand what is going on. The sadness and depression takes a toll on the family as soon as they arrived to the beach house.
Another example is when Alice’s sister comes to town on her birthday. Everyone goes to the beach and then there is a mishap. Alice and her brother-in-law go through a small altercation. Since Alice had her miscarriage in the water at the beach she doesn’t like to go swimming ever since. Swimming was once Alice’s favorite thing to do at the beach before the miscarriage. Depression stops her from loving the people around her and stops her from doing the things she loves.
As you can see there are many times through the book that Alice’s depression affects the entire family. Although times get hard it is important to recognize that they are all still a family at the end of the book. Rose grows up and Alice seems turn a new page once she saves a girl from drowning and there is an improvement in her depression. The end of the book really does show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
To read more about This One Summer, visit a blog written by Michaela Dye.