Claiming what's yours in Poland

Old people are so inscrutable! That's what you're thinking if you're Mica and you're stuck with your now silent grandmother in Poland as depicted in "The Property" by Rutu Modan. This graphic novel follows the two as their once unified purpose, to find the status of the older woman's property lost during the Holocaust, falls apart and divides them.
 
The grandmother changes her mind about researching the property upon arrival, leaving Mica confused and on her own. The novel mixes somber topics with light-hearted ones, as Mica makes her way around Warsaw without her grandmother. She visits what remains of the Warsaw Ghetto, observes Zaduszki, meets an interesting tour guide and continues the search for documentation of her grandmother's property rights. A subplot with Mica's aunt adds a sinister air to the tale, but comes off as a distraction when all is said and done.
 
There are colorful, expository flashbacks. Mysteries are solved and secrets revealed in the course of the story. An old romance and a new one are ignited.  The grandmother's motives eventually become clear. Although her behavior in Poland seemed odd, the grandmother's motives become clear in the end, and the age difference becomes inconsequential.
 
--Julie C., Headquarters
 

 

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