Slow Storm, by Danica Novgorodoff ISBN 9781596432505
Four out of five stars
There are two primary characters in this graphic novel, the first is a female firefighter/first responder (Ursa Crain) and the second is an undocumented young man (Rafi) from Mexico. The setting is Oldham County, Kentucky and during a very violent storm a flash of lightning strikes a barn containing horses and sets it on fire.
Rafi lives in the barn and cares for the horses, so he runs in and releases them from their stalls. During this act of heroism Rafi hits his head and knocked unconscious. Ursa is one of the firefighters that enters the burning structure in an attempt to save him. Through a set of circumstances that he was not a part of, Rafi is blamed for the near death of a firefighter.
This leads to a quick and unusual friendship between Ursa and Rafi, largely born out of a sense of helplessness that both of them have. Being a female in a largely male profession, Ursa experiences significant sexism, leading her to an extreme response. Rafi has no other place to go, so for the moment they each have very few options as to what to do.
The story is an engaging one, many undocumented workers have a history of severe struggle and deprivation when making the journey to the United Sates and Rafi is one of them. All he wants is to be left alone and to be able to earn a decent living. Ursa is also struggling to be successful in a world where she does not fit in very well. If they are lucky, two people having such things in common will find each other and in this case they did.