A Home For Mr. Easter
Tesana is a teenage girl lacking love. Her mother belittles her behavior, and the kids at school make fun of her. She is huge—both very tall and very overweight. She feels like a walking target, so it’s understandable that she has learned to escape into her imagination. When the bus ride home sucks, she dreams up a unicorn to carry her across the city. But daydreams can’t make everything better. When the popular jocks and cheerleaders try to make a victim of a bunny rabbit, Tesana unleashes all her pent-up anger on them.
This is no ordinary bunny. He lays Easter eggs! He talks! Everyone thinks Tesana is crazy, but she knows the truth. She resolves to help Mr. Easter get back home. In order to do this, they have to retrace the route that brought him to the high school: a pet shop, a science lab, and a magician’s show. At every stop there’s someone who wants that bunny back, and soon there’s a small army chasing Tesana and Mr. Easter.
A Home for Mr. Easter is defined by its chaos. Tesana feels attacked on all sides, and then she actually is. The plot follows the logic of a dreamer, so magical things are suddenly allowed. The laws of the real world are stretched and twisted.
Though this graphic novel style isn’t really my favorite—it delights in the misshapen—I appreciate what Allen has succeeded in doing. What I don’t enjoy may make the book all the richer for some readers. Tesana’s world is ugly; she deals with ugly people.
Along the way, Tesana slowly excises some of her demons. By the time they find Mr. Easter’s true home, she is less angry and has had some of her deepest beliefs validated. Through the bedlam, she and her mother become allies, instead of enemies. The fairy tale ends happily.
And yet, A Home for Mr. Easter contains a great deal of insight, slipped into the subtext. Brooke Allen gives just enough clues for us to get a rich impression of what Tesana’s inner and physical lives are like. The characters are expressive, leaving no doubt about how something is being said or the emotion it’s being said with.
I did enjoy the story, and its fantastic nature. The range of emotion is powerful, taking one through disbelief, righteous anger, fear, and pathos. Allen is clearly talented and confident in her craft.