I love a graphic memoir, and I loved this one. I adore how tight and condensed the words of the story become, while the story itself, through the drawings, sprawls out as wide as any story can. I had a hard time putting this down to sleep. If you’re not a graphic novel reader, but you like memoir, you might be surprised how easily and thoroughly you get caught up.
As for story, this is a fresh, wry look at fertility treatments and at what it feels like to be, again and again, on the unsuccessful end of them. I think the drawings of Phoebe trying to give herself shots in the stomach will stay with me forever, both for their humor and for their grim depiction of a woman wadding up her own stomach fat with one hand, needle in the other. And as a wanna-be memoir writer myself, I’m touched by how Phoebe was able to go back and capture her own renewed optimism every time, and I loved the moment when she decided that what she REALLY needed was to become a rabbi. This is a woman who knows herself far too well–I’m glad she made good use of it.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I love a good, well-voiced memoir and this is definitely that, but I’m still not sure how I feel about having spent an evening gobbling this down. The author tells the story of her deep inner conviction that she should be a princess, well-bred and properly behaved on all occasions, in spite of her hippie upbringing. (I admit I felt for her mother, who came off rather dissed.) So far, so good. She reaches England, dream and destiny, anglophilia in tow and manages to break into the serious London/Oxford It Girl setâ€”but just when I was rolling along, amused and titillated by her stories of mingling with and mashing on young lords, she’d flash her hippy underside by hinting more than just a little about her belief in past lives. But I’d be quickly lured back in for more gossip, turning pages, dying to know if she ever actually managed to meet her prince. I rode along happily right to the end, but ultimately I felt unsatisfied. Things happen to the narrator, but I wasn’t convinced she’d really changed. Verdict: less filling, tastes great.