This was a graphic novel with very evocative artwork. Some pages had more colour than others. It is a stark, realistic take on the lives of Irish immigrants who came to work in a growing city that offered them labour in return for fostering dreams of making it big. The skyscrapers of NYC form but a background of the lives of these normal men. They have left family behind, and some of them send support while others use it as an opportunity to be carefree.
Our focus is on Giant, a man of few words who is tasked with sending important information home to a widow who doesn’t know of her fate yet. He does not necessarily do what he intends to and gets embroiled in something he cannot extricate himself from. Through the ensuing conversations, we see all the people around the main character and the small bonds that crop up between the most unlikely of people. There is no completing story arc, at least not in this copy. We are left with an emotional lesson, something that everyone involved is left to contemplate on, and there is no mention of a happily ever after of any sort. There are minor acknowledgements, personal satisfaction of a few workers which made the reading quite unique. It does have some explicit panels, but they were built into the storyline.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes indulging in a graphic novel as well as anyone who has even a mild interest in historical fiction of the average man.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers. The review, however, is entirely based on my own reading experience, my familiarity with the city of New York and my previous brushes with graphic novels.