Walz, Jason – Homesick

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Homesick

My apologies to the rest of the people out there making graphic novels, but it’s three days into the new year and we already have a winner for best book of the year. Yes, it’s obviously too early to say that, but I’ve rarely seen a book that’s managed to be this perfectly devastating. This is Jason’s first book, which is damned near criminal, and it’s the story both of a lost cosmonaut and Jason’s mother struggling through ten years of various levels of cancer. How could those two things possibly go together? I had the same question early on, and he managed to pull them together in an impressive manner. But that’s getting ahead of the story. Things start off by giving you the impression that this is going to be a happier book, as Jason calls his mother to tell her about his recent engagement. He learns that her cancer is back and it’s all downhill from there. Jason lives far away from his mother and it’s difficult to visit her, but he had problems with seizures as a child and she has always been there to support him and keep him safe. We see his early days and a number of snippets that are exactly the sorts of things that pop into your head when you can see the end coming up, the moments that end up comprising your best memories of a person. The cosmonaut ends up being one of the first people sent up into space, back when they had no way of getting the person back down again. His difficulty in accepting his fate intersects with Jason’s nicely by the end, and if you can read this whole book without shedding a tear then you’re a heartless monster. Anything else I say would either be repeating myself or giving away bits that don’t need to be given away. I recommend a lot of books on this site and no one person could possibly buy them all, but save up those pennies and put together the $16 needed to pick this up. There are precious few books out there with the potential to make you a better human being, and this is on that list. $16

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