Plate Tectonics: An Illustrated Memoir

Archaia. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9781684153459. $24.99. Rated: Teen+. MEMOIR
In her second graphic memoir translated into English (after But I Really Wanted To Be an Anthropologist), Motin examines the “shifting inner geography” of a woman whose life didn’t turn out quite as she’d imagined. Thirty-five and recently divorced, Motin sheds her married persona and jumps into the single life, shoe shopping and kvetching with girlfriends, guzzling wine, and enjoying the night clubs, all while managing to keep her young daughter clothed and fed. When an old friendship unexpectedly turns romantic, Motin’s life takes yet another unexpected turn. Can she transition with the changes and find stability? Motin’s tone is as irreverent as you would expect a conversation with girlfriends over several bottles of red wine to be, and her drawing style is reminiscent of fashion and women’s magazine illustrations—long, sweeping lines, tall stilettos—but ultimately her witty and thoughtful observations lend the depth that will place this volume on the shelf with other, more serious graphic memoirs.
VERDICT Motin’s character is crass and often exasperating, but in the end she provides an endearing portrait of a woman doing her best, and adult readers will relate to the struggle.

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