Comics & Graphic Novel, Drama

The Two Lives of Penelope by Judith Vanistendael

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In my effort to work my way through older books which I acquired quite a while ago, I am reading graphic novels again. This is one such book.
It took me a while to get used to the art style, but the further I got into the narrative, it seemed best suited to narrate the story. The style involved swirls, colours that escaped the boundaries and overall portrayed a very stifling environment.
We have a Belgian physician who is home only on short stints, and she spends the rest working in Syria. She battles death every day for her unnamed patients, but when she is home, the normalness of that life jars on her. The complexities of being the woman of the house who lets the man do the caring for their daughter is also constantly being discussed. Her daughter is growing up, her family has a place for her to slip into when she is back, but it looks like something that’s very hard to do.
It is not an easy book, the relationships shown here survive all the ups and downs in a very realistic fashion. There is no closure at the end, and it is a heavy read for its size. I am glad I gave it a shot, but I probably would not reread it.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley, the review is entirely based on my own reading experience of this book.

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