I am a little frustrated with Alison Bechdel. She is instantly good but also so clinically precise with her tribulations that it makes me feel defeated right at the beginning. Moving on.
Fun Home is sad in a way that you absolutely cannot be. She treats everyone lightly as if that’s how it has always meant to be. Obviously behind that real humour is some real pain. Her clearly dysfunctional family of parents and two brothers did no good to her for she was always mostly alone.
However this book is a piece primarily about her father, their warped relationship, his relationships with others and all that is connected. A meditative piece about her own sexual awakening, and her father’s demise that started a storm with all that was left unsaid.
The details are taletelling and beautiful with their everyday nuances, fights and rare moments of affection. Her father’s obsession with their Victorian house and it’s restorations to their thick and distant relationship, to their closeted personas as they unveil, are all part of the very gothic setting of the funeral home services that their family provided. Everything smells of doom but in unexpected ways. The sense of doom that you carry is one of your own, that the book gives you and you take willingly.
A complex tale told with wit and pain very cleverly juxtaposed. But if we had to choose one emotion to describe this book it would probably be love.