I read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home based on several recommendations. It was my first graphic novel with serious subject matter since I read Maus many years ago. I love Fun Home. It’s not an easy read, but it is a great read.
The thing about reading a memoir about someone else’s family is that it gets you thinking about your own family, at least that’s what happens with me. Of course, my family didn’t go through the same things as Bechdel’s, but every family has some hidden issues, things that are hard to understand and mine is no different.
So I finished the book thinking a lot about the house I grew up in, and the way my family is now. Someone asked me to report back if the book is good or really depressing. I wouldn’t use the word depressing to describe Fun Home, instead, I would say it is beautifully tragic in its honesty about very difficult topics.
In my favorite panel, Bechdel talks about how all of the family was creative, but also pursuing their creative endeavors alone. As she says:
Our home was like an artists colony, we ate together, but otherwise were absorbed in our separate pursuits.
And in this isolation our creativity took on an aspect of compulsion.