We spend our entire lives making choices about which paths we should take but some have a more profound effect on us than others. Remorse is a thoughtful, gentle story about a woman who has a chance to change her life but, as the title of the book suggests, ends up not taking it. To go into any detail about what happens next would spoil the dramatic tension but the title is something of a give-away.
Written and illustrated by Debbie Jenkinson, the dialogue-driven story dovetails perfectly with the exquisitely-paced panels, often using just the pictures to express emotion and character, with a depth and clarity that words alone couldn’t manage. It’s actually at these quiet times when the book truly shines, helped along with a bright yellow spot colour that signifies a particularly emotive regret in lead character Penelope, and largely appears when she’s alone.
A short but intense read, Remorse is one of those books that, like an itch, you have to keep going back to. Jenkinson has created a character who’s easy to empathise with, and has put her in an easily identifiable situation. There’s no judgement here, just an interesting slice of life that could have taken a different path but didn’t.