Review of “And Now I Spill the Family Secrets: An Illustrated Memoir” by Margaret Kimball


Overall:
 2.5-3/5 Stars

Summary of review: A graphic novel memoir that is beautifully drawn, but fell flat for me.


Summary:

A graphic novel about the author’s childhood. She navigates her mother’s bi-polar disorder and several hospitalizations associated with that. She also goes through her parent’s divorce, her father remarrying, and other adolescent problems/issues throughout her family.

My thoughts:

This memoir was an interesting read. I have read a lot of memoirs and graphic novel memoirs, but this one was unique in many ways.

This novel dealt with a lot of serious issues including mental health, divorce, suicide, depression, etc. This memoir was candid and raw. She talked about a lot of things that a lot of times are not spoken of in family units.

I felt like for a graphic novel, it was too “wordy.” You want the graphics to tell a story as well as the words. She chose black and white images for this graphic novel, which I loved. But some of the graphics and words were not important to telling the story. The author would have a graphic of a room and then label things like “Janice kept candy here.” I felt like these little things took me away from the story itself. I felt like they were not needed- just let the graphic show me there was candy there. Each page of the book seemed repetitive to me. It was either a journal entry, an image of a room with labels and words describing the room/picture, etc. It felt so receptive that I had to put the book down a few times.

Conclusion:

Read this graphic novel but not as an example of a graphic novel. But if you want a decent/candid memoir, then pick up this book.

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