CM . . . . Volume XX Number 8 . . . . October 25, 2013
Tiffany Hunt, 16, lives on the Otter Lake Reserve with her father and grandmother. Tiffany's parents are divorced, and her mother now lives in Edmonton with a white man. Tiffany is having problems with her father, a situation which is not helped by her poor marks in school and her white boyfriend, Tony. Tiffany's family has taken in a lodger who is going to displace Tiffany to the basement.
The lodger, Pierrre L'Errant is not what anyone expected. Due to his "skin condition", he prefers the basement which makes Tiffany happy. Pierre is from Europe, but he looks Native and knows a lot about the history of Otter Lake. He also happens to be a vampire.
The Night Wanderer features the intermingling stories of Tiffany Hunt and Pierre L'Errant as their paths cross again and again over a few days. These characters have many similarities which are shown as Pierre decide to try and help Tiffany survive her problems.
Tiffany's sense of isolation from both her family and friends is at the root of many of her problems and is reflected by the isolation that Pierre feels. Tiffany has created her isolation through her choices, including her choice of boyfriend, whereas Pierre's isolation has been created by physical and temporal issues. However, isolation is what creates a link between Tiffany and Pierre.
Isolation is furthered as a theme in The Night Wanderer by emphasis on the separation between the Native Otter Lake and non-Native Baymeadow, the separation being shown by the rarity of interaction between the two communities even though they are located quite close together.
Drew Hayden Taylor's original novel, The Night Wanderer has been adapted well to a graphic novel format. While the descriptions from the original novel are necessarily missing, Michael Wyatt's art does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of the setting. The use of black and white (and a little bit of red) for the illustrations also reinforces the mood of the story.
The transition to graphic format has not changed the excellent pacing of the plot. As with the novel, The Night Wanderer graphic novel version takes place in a very short period of time, but the pacing of the events does not feel rushed or forced.
Drew Hayden Taylor created a unique and fascinating story which Michael Wyatt and Alison Kooistra have adapted into an excellent graphic novel that will appeal to a wide group of readers.
Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a graduate of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at UBC, Vancouver, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.