Notes from a Sickbed

Graphic Universe. Nov. 2022. 152p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781728462936; lib. ed. $29.32. ISBN 9781728419480.
Gr 8 Up–In her graphic memoir, Brunton recounts her early experiences with myalgic encephalomyelitis, more commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Years before receiving an official diagnosis, Brunton spends a significant amount of time at home in extreme pain, with intense exhaustion. One of the most vexing parts of the illness, Brunton recalls, is the unpredictability; she finds it impossible to tell when symptoms will set in as well as how long it will take to recover. Some of the memories shared by Brunton focus on her day-to-day attempts to cope with and learn about her chronic illness, while other sections are lively imaginings, such as visualizing herself haunting noisy neighbors and brainstorming the best kind of mobile bed, to name a few. Brunton’s tone is often humorous, with each spread filled with highly detailed black-and-white illustrations. The memoir’s final spreads depict Brunton ruminating over which comic she wishes to create.
VERDICT An incredibly authentic and honest look at life with a chronic illness. Recommended for purchase for all collections.

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