Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Good Riddance by Cynthia Copeland

Y'all know I love a good graphic (Illustrated! Not dirty!) memoir, so when I found an ARC of Cynthia Copeland's divorce memoir, Good Riddance, I had to jump on it. Unfortunately, that first ARC was tore up from the floor up (unfinished artwork, missing pages), so I emailed the publisher to ask for a finished review copy. I couldn't NOT read it!

I was really thrilled with this book. It sounds like a bit of a downer since it's about the breaking up of a family, but Copeland writes with plenty of wit and sensitivity. After many years of marriage, she discovers her husband has been having an affair. He moves out, and she begins the process of grieving and eventually healing. They also have multiple children, so it's the story of a how a family finds a new normal.

I loved this book for the truth of it. I don't think you have to have been married or divorced to appreciate Copeland's story and her humor. For anyone who's experienced a long-term relationship that broke up, I'm sure it's plenty relatable. For those of us who have navigated life after a marriage or close relationship that involves children, it's especially resonant. Click to embiggen the images. It's totes worth it.

This book was such a nice mix of emotions--from the initial shock of finding out her marriage was crumbling, to the time alone that she wasn't quite sure what to do with, and the friends and family surrounding her. It was all just so spot-on. And as I mentioned before, it's a bit like surviving a breakup and looking back with the ability to laugh at the things you did or said or wished. That's where the real humor comes in.

There are also sections of the book devoted to Cynthia's attempts to get back into the dating world. Some colossal flops and some successes and the effort required in trying to do it all over again. 

I was also a big fan of the illustrations. They're cartoony and reminded me a bit of a Cathy comic strip at times, but they really enhanced the written narrative. I especially loved the illustration above. When she starts dating again, one of her initial attempts is with a very...predictable...man. Barry Bingo is an outline of what ole Barry might be doing at any given time. 

Good Riddance is sensitive and honest and just lovely. And it made me LOL, which is always a good thing. If you're fan of illustrated memoirs like Persepolis (but lighter), or French Milk (not so international), then there's a good chance you'll enjoy this book, too.

Pub. Date: May 2013
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1419706705
Source: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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