The Zabime Sisters (2010) by Aristophane, translation and afterward by Matt Madden.
There are two things to know about this book. It’s amazing. And it’s a rare treasure because its creator, Aristophane Boulon, died in 2004, way before his time. He created five books. This was his last.
This book takes us to the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and into the lives of three sisters on their first day of summer vacation. This is one of the most honest portrayals of sisterhood I’ve come across— the squabbles, the bossiness, the sticking together just because you’re sisters.
Following these three sisters around was like being transported back to my own youth. I know people say that kind of thing all the time, but in this case it’s simply uncanny how Aristophane brought these kids to life with such bittersweet authenticity. This is not the way you wished your youth was lived, where you said and did the right thing at the right time. It’s the way it actually unfolded—boredom mixed with pettiness, curiosity and not knowing any better.
And the artwork? Confident, fresh, bold, stunning.