This is quite sad because it's more relatable than it's not. The message can be understood plainly by women from their early 20s to older even after menopause. The idea of living a life filled with expectations, unable to control what is around us, not even our bodies that sometimes betray us in the worst possible way. Not having a person around who can truly understand what one is going through, although we've been there one way or another. The nightmares that more and more become heavier and more crude and nonsensical but that makes all sense. It is a sad lonely journey for women sometimes, and very true.
The art format and almost silent pages are perfect for this story.
Themes: Friendship, job, relationships, marriage, wishing and expectations, loss of a child, endless work of a housewife, routine, sadness, depression, therapy, loneliness, self-punishment, mental health.
Thank you, Publisher and Netgalley for this digital advance readers copy.
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From the Publisher:
A psychological thriller about a woman obsessed with her vision for a picture-perfect, curated life.
Carolanne wanted a perfect wedding, a perfect husband, a perfect family. She carefully performs her own roles (gal pal, bestie, girlfriend, wife, and expectant mother) and manipulates those around her to try and get the results she wants. Her desire to control the uncontrollable ultimately becomes her undoing. When things don't go her way, she exerts dominance over the one thing she does have total control over: her body; until that "betrays" her. After suffering a horrible loss, Carolanne spirals into a literal, all-consuming delusion causing her body to produce symptoms of a hysterical pregnancy — as a result of her slicing off bits of her own flesh and eating them.
Chicago cartoonist and educator Beth Hetland’s graphic novel debut is a brilliant psychological thriller that tears down the wall of a genre — body horror — so often identified with male creators. Heady and visceral, Tender uses horrific tropes to confront women’s societal expectations of self-sacrifice despite those traditional roles often coming at the expense of female sexuality and empowerment.