cover image Follow Me In

Follow Me In

Katriona Chapman. Avery Hill, $24.99 (248p) ISBN 978-1-910395-38-7

Chapman recounts a journey through Mexico and the wilds of the human heart in this stirring and lushly penciled travelogue. In the early 2000s, Chapman and her then-boyfriend, Richard, quit their jobs, flew to Mexico City, and spent months visiting pre-Hispanic ruins, verdant jungles, and teeming markets. Richard’s alcoholism, however, repeatedly threatened to derail the adventure—and their relationship. Chapman captures the diverse splendor of the places they explored and the people they met with tremendous verve: the humidity of the rainforest and the arid majesty of the desert feel close enough to touch. It is in depicting her frustration and sorrow, however, that Chapman truly shines. Her gaze narrows as she finds a cache of crushed beer cans. A poison-green metaphorical snake wraps around her as Richard slumps over, too soused to stand. Chapman understands how intimately beauty and pain intertwine, both in her heart and the land they explore. She is never condescending or judgmental in her observations; her depictions are scrupulously humane. It is this raw humanity—this embrace of both beauty and peril in her adventures—that makes her story feel as vast as the country she traverses. [em](Nov.) [/em]