... the only neat lines here are in Kimball’s crisp grayscale illustrations. She tells her story in finely lettered, date- and location-stamped chapters that move back and forth in time, recalling her parents’ divorce and custody battle, her dad’s remarriage, her mom’s bipolar diagnosis, moves, teenage loneliness, and, perhaps most poignantly, her relationship with her older brother. Kimball makes a stunning choice here, depicting herself and her family members only through reproduced photos or video stills: her dominating illustrations are of pristinely rendered interiors and domestic scenes, which are emphatically personal, even without people in them. An astonishing, loving, resonant chronicle of the hard and necessary work to make sense of the consciousness in ourselves and in our families.
... compassionate, enthralling ... In lesser hands these stylistic decisions may have resulted in an alienating sense of disorientation, but through unwavering honesty and sheer storytelling skill, Kimball creates an intimate portrait of the complicated, conflicting emotions that arise when one is confronted with a family member’s mental illness while highlighting how trauma reverberates across generations ... An empathetic, uncommonly nuanced, and thoroughly brilliant family saga presented with real daring and true artistry.
Intensely candid ... a charming illustrative style ... Kimball is never shy to point the finger at herself, recognizing her anger that her mother’s illness forced her to witness 'the fact that she transformed from parent to stranger.' The drama grows with the emerging recognition that her mother is not the only member of the family to suffer from mental illness. It’s an extraordinarily honest look at life behind closed suburban doors—and with a sublimely redemptive conclusion ... A welcome debut that will leave readers eager for a successor—and soon.