Bingo: New (new author to me)
This graphic novel is Roz Chast’s memoir about her parents’ aging and eventual death. It’s a dark topic! But the book itself is highly entertaining.
Chast’s parents, George and Elizabeth, lived their entire lives in Brooklyn. Chast was born fairly late into their marriage, after they suffered a stillbirth several years before her birth. One day, when her parents were in their 80s, her mother fell. This was the beginning of a downward slope in health for both of them, and it’s where the story really begins.
I really enjoyed this book and finished it in one night. Roz Chast’s writing and illustrations are funny, and I laughed out loud several times. It’s also a tough read, particularly as her mother gets sicker and sicker. My parents are alive, but I wonder if this would be an even more difficult read for those whose parents have passed. Or maybe it would be comforting? I’m not sure.
This book is also extremely educational. Aging is incredibly expensive! Chast’s parents had paid into an insurance plan for decades, but because their end of life care took place outside of New York City, their plan didn’t cover anything. I learned a lot about hospice care and nursing homes. You can also tell writing the book was therapeutic for Chast, and that she had some important revelations about her relationships with her parents as she worked on it. I really enjoyed this book and found it a touching and thought-provoking read.