Persephone’s Garden

Glynnis Fawkes. Secret Acres, $21.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-9991935-6-3
Inspired to retell the myth of Persephone, which ancient Greeks used to explain the cycle of seasons, Fawkes presents this autobiographical collection as a hilarious and moving meditation on girlhood, motherhood, and the unyielding passage of time. An archeological illustrator, Fawkes has a wonderfully lithe, Thurber-esque line, which adapts effortlessly to the humorous and quotidian. In some stories she recounts her many trips to Greece, first as a young single woman working on excavations and then as a harried wife and mother, willful children in tow. But, as she confesses, “I still associate being in Greece with my adventurous youth.” Some of the funniest strips show her endless attempts to engage her children in cultural activities, against which they consistently push back. The collection reaches an emotional climax with “The House on Thurman Street,” which describes a visit to her parents at her childhood home in Portland, Ore. She contrasts the reminiscences the visit stirs in her with her mother’s devastating memory loss due to Alzheimer’s, a disease Fawkes realizes can be hereditary. “The jaws of my memory want to close on this house so hard,” she concludes. Combining small moments that will ring true for many readers, Fawkes uncovers big themes in this funny-sad, satisfying mosaic. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 06/06/2019
Release date: 10/01/2019
Genre: Comics
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