“This is the kind of book that can drag you down and make you weep, while still sustaining you with its sheer ambition. …. a great example of what makes graphic novels powerful in the hands of truly talented creators.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Both beautiful and heart breaking in its honesty and poignancy, this very personal account of the loss of a much wanted child and the long and difficult grieving process that followed may be simply told and illustrated but that does not detract from its impact. The author compares grief to being lost at sea in a boat, and the illustrator does a wonderful job with this concept.
As the book is based on the author’s own experiences , it seems that it is both a labour of love and a way of honouring the memory of the lost child and the support of her wife . As well as the ebb and flow of her grief , she describes how the loss caused difficulties in her relationship with her wife and almost caused it to flounder , but her determination shines through, and the ending is definitely hopeful.
Telling the story through the medium of a graphic novel works particularly well, and I think I found it more more emotional to read than I would have had I read a straight prose account. The use of colour and black and white by the illustrator to indicate tone and mood is very well done , and there are several panels where no words are needed to convey emotion, something which can be difficult to pull off, but in situations like the one depicted in the book, sometimes there really are no words. Despite the difficult subject matter, this truly is a beautiful and hopeful book, and one that I suspect would give comfort to many people who are grieving a loss.
Added 6th March 2020