Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen year old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for.
Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world.
When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain.
Sheets ripped my heart out, punched and kicked it a few times, and then graciously replaced it inside my gaping chest. The way that Marjorie and Wendell’s stories meet and intertwine was beautiful and uplifting. Marjorie, dealing with the sudden death of her mother, is left to run the family’s laundry business when her dad is overcome with grief. She goes through school feeling like an outcast and a ghost, then comes home and gets walked all over by the plethora of rude customers that think they’re better than her. She is feeling downtrodden and hopeless, two emotions I was able to relate to on a very deep level. Wendell on the other hand is dealing with his own death at a very young age. Death therapy is ineffective and he doesn’t understand what his purpose is in the afterlife. He feels lost and confused, two more emotions that were incredibly relateable.
Thummler’s art style was unlike any I had ever seen. The cover of this book instantly drew me in and I knew immediately that I needed to read it. Her illustrations of the character’s faces included so much emotion and really helped me understand exactly what they were feeling or thinking. Her attention to detail in the backgrounds and small details scattered around was amazing. I loved studying the different locations that were featured. One of my favorite things about the art was the color palettes that were chosen. The entire graphic novel was blue and purple toned which really fit the story exceptionally well.
It’s quite impressive that Sheets is Thummler’s first original graphic novel. This honestly felt like something done by an author that had been perfecting their craft for a few years. I’m so thankful I happened upon this story, because it was exactly what my heart needed. Is it filled with sadness, feeling lost, confusion, and hurt? Absolutely. But it’s also filled with hope, perseverance, friendship, and love. And at the end of the day, those things overshadow everything else.