Gepubliceerd op 14 september 2023 om 15:00

Title: Carole, what we leave behind

Original title: Carole, ce que nous laissons derrière nous

Author: Clément C. Fabre

English translator: Matt Madden

Turkish translations: Utku & Ahmet Insel

Arabic translations: Robin Fabre & Abdallah Mahmoud

Armenian translations: Maria Ishkhanian

Series: /

Genre(s): Graphic novel, History

My rating: 4/5 stars

Other books written by this author: The author wrote 5 more books in French, you can see them on Goodreads.

Find Clément C. Fabre here:

The story:

Clément and his brother travel to Istanbul with the goal to find the missing grave of their aunt Carole. Clément also interviews his grandparents about this and their leave to France a few years after Carole died, but he also knows that they leave things unsaid. On their journey, the brothers learn more about their history, and how history still shows this day. When their search for the grave doesn't work out, and they need to go back to France, Clément realizes that this trip was more than finding a grave.


The characters:

In this story, you follow Clément and his brother Robin. They try to find the missing grave of their aunt Carole, who died as an infant. Through the story you also see some other characters, like some of their other family members. Cléments therapist, and people they meet on their journey. To know that these characters are real people, makes it more intense to read about them. You're really diving into their story, and while reading you follow the same journey as they have done in real life. Since the characters that appear in this book are (based on) real people, since it's a memoir. I won't go deeper into them, like I do with my other reviews. I don't feel like it's right for me to talk more about their appearance in this story, which is also a memoir, since you can't change how someone is anyways.


My opinion:

Carole is a beautifully written, and watercolored, graphic novel. The autobiography, this author writes, is good to follow, and as a reader you also learn some more things. About their family, but also about their history in general. I flew through this book, and I loved reading every page. I even stopped reading sometimes, to look better at the beautiful drawings, and all the details that were in them.

Sometimes I did have a hard time keeping track of the past and present time, because somehow my brain skipped over the part that past times were in black and white (so that's a very personal thing, hahahaha). Anyways, I also lost track of time sometimes in this book, as in when everything took place and how long the story actually took. I didn't follow along with the time skips, so I sometimes had to keep back a little, to read it again at the right time. I also missed who was who in the beginning, I probably wasn't paying enough attention to that, but once I read more clearly, I could follow it easily (I blame my zoning out adhd brain for this). I also found the letter type hard to read sometimes, especially with the letter "v". The last one, is also the only thing I actually would have loved to see differently.

It can be hard to follow along with the journey, since you don't know all the information. As doesn't the main character/the author. Sometimes, you would love to see some more explanation about certain events, but they aren't given, which can be frustrating. I believe that that mystery also makes the story real. It isn't perfect, the story isn't, the characters aren't, the ending isn't. It makes it alive and real. Even so, it's also frustrating at points while you're reading it.

Anyways, besides that, I loved this story so much, even though I don't read a lot of books in these genres. I feel like this story has brought me some more knowledge about this part of history, and I loved how this story was put together. I definitely love that I found this author, and this book, and I was honored to read it as a digital arc.



This graphic novel is a super interesting read for anyone who loves to read (more) about history, and/or is interested in this side of history. It's an autobiographical story, so you follow a real family on their journey, discovering more things about their past. The story has a good pacing, and a very nice writing style. The graphics are beautifully made, and make the story come alive as well. Really a book I recommend reading, since it's super informative. 


Let's finish with one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Do you ever feel overwhelmed without understanding why?"

- Clément C. Fabre (Matt Madden, wrote this English translation), Carole: what we leave behind.


{I received this book as a digital review copy, wherefore I thank Netgalley, and the English publishing house (Europe comics) from this book, but this doesn't influence my opinion on the story}

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