David grew up in a house full of secrets. Some of the secrets were well kept and known by no one. Others, such as his grandmother’s mental instability, were known by everyone but never discussed. Although they never communicated with one another, everyone in David’s family had a habit of nonverbal self-expression. For his brother, drumming was a language. David’s language was illness. As an infant he had trouble breathing. As he became a teenager, a tumor began to grow in his neck.
But the family silence extended even to David’s medical health. After an operation that was never fully explained to him, David had lost a vocal chord and could no longer speak. As his teenage years continued, he struggled to sift through the family secrets and discover what actually happened to him.
If you enjoy memoirs about dysfunctional families, this is the book for you! It’s a graphic memoir (in format), and Small’s black and white drawings help convey his story in a powerful way.