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Off to never never land

Cover of The Wendy Project
A review of The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osborne

Wendy Davies is driving along a lake road with her two younger brothers Michael and John when their car skids off a bridge and into the water. One of Wendy's brothers is missing after the accident - he's just plain vanished.  \Did Michael survive the crash and wander away? Has he drowned in the lake? Wendy blames herself for the accident. Her family is in crisis. It's all confusing and impossible to come to terms with. What follows is the torturous response to the accident:  the journal that Wendy keeps for her therapist.

Meeting with a therapist is not something Wendy wants to do. She's more than reluctant, bordering on belligerent. She doesn't want to talk about what happened or what she thinks happened, so her therapist encourages her to draw. Her journal becomes The Wendy Project and as Wendy explores the accident, the reader is taken on a journey of uncertainty. 

Where is Michael? There is no body and it's impossible for anyone to know for sure. But Wendy thinks that Peter Pan has taken her brother to join the Lost Boys. She regularly sees Peter, at her window, during gym class, and at the school dance. John sees Peter, too, and the sense of loss and quest for eternal youth culminates with Wendy and her brothers in Neverland together.

As Wendy tries to get her lost boys back home, the story comes full circle. The way the brain works after a tragedy is mysterious, but the journal helps Wendy come to terms with the accident and move on with her life. The Wendy Project is beautifully drawn, with ethereal colors in Neverland, a stark contrast to the black and white or harsh reality of life after the accident, and then full color splashes as Wendy's heartbreak heals. The final pages leave the reader with hope.

Oct 26, 2017