This graphic memoir has been on my to read list for what feels like ages, so I felt entirely satisfied when I completed reading it.
In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.
Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
In the end, I was compelled to pick up Fun Home completely on a whim. Though I flew through it, a lot of the literary references went shamefully over my head. And considering that it was such a big focus here, I was left out of the loop a lot, which ended up lowering my enjoyment while reading.
Also, I was made entirely uncomfortable with her father and his violent tendencies towards his family, his preying on young boys, and his overall behavior towards the naïve.
I did like how something that Alison Bechdel mentioned in the first half would then get completed in the second half. And I learned quite a lot about funerals, which I was not expecting going into this. Also, Bechdel taking the time to discuss her OCD was crucial and enlightening.
On that note, here are some other parts I enjoyed:
When their grandma told the tale of how Bruce Bechdel got stuck in the mud, I was just as compelled as the kids. I wanted to know more.
I LOVE hearing about dreams.
Ever since I read the above exchange, it’s been on my mind constantly.
I’m curious to see what her next graphic novel Are You My Mother? entails.