... stunning ... a remarkably assured work; it’s easy to forget that it’s a debut. Carrington’s drawing style, with the lines doing all the work, is reminiscent of Joe Sacco’s, and she has a sure hand at integrating image and text, maintaining a compelling narrative drive throughout. She proves herself especially adept at capturing the elusive essence of certain inflection points in life—boundaries you don’t realize have been crossed until it’s too late to turn back, ruefully recognized only with hindsight ... As the book proceeds past its halfway point, it becomes clear that what has been a memoir of trauma is also a meditation on the nature of justice—the need for it, the pursuit of it, and the limits of its reach ... not an easy read, but it is an essential one.
... somehow this isn’t an unremittingly bleak book, as it easily could have been and that is due to Emily Carrington’s consummate skill in the graphic novel format. She draws her rural childhood as full of bucolic moments and is generous in how she describes her clearly dysfunctional parents ... As a prose memoir, this would be tough to read. It’s not easy as a graphic memoir, either, but the format gives the reader air. The full black pages separating chapters provide both a pause and visual emblem for the darkness of the story. And Carrington’s clarity helps. She’s clearly done a lot of work on healing her pain and brings that understanding to her descriptions ... In this way her graphic memoir provides a map for others on the power of storytelling. Nobody can control what she puts on the page, how she uses words and images to shape her narrative, to make sense of her world ... Telling a story, Carrington shows, takes its own kind of courage, and reaps its own deep rewards.
I loved the book. Carrington is a terrific storyteller, even if her muse is her deep deep pain. I found myself cheering for her, turning page after page of this graphic memoir hoping that it would get better, that she would get justice or revenge or both ... Carrington draws in a style that is spare and descriptive at the same time, while rendering her pages in a black-and-white that befits the graveness of the subject matter. And her writing deftly blends exposition and introspection in the tradition of the best graphic novelists. (Though few have such serious subjects to confront.) I hope she’s found the catharsis she needs in the making of this book, and that in doing so, she’ll be free to write another book. I really want to see her find happiness.