Author: Jennifer Hayden
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Note that there are two authors named Jennifer Hayden, so please don't confuse them! One, this one, is the graphic novelist and artist. The other isn't! It pains me to review negatively a novel about an important topic like this, but I cannot in good faith recommend this. The title, as it did with volume one, suggests this is about breasts, and as metaphorical as it might be, it really wasn't about breasts as much as it was about the author's life, which was plagued with family issues and with health issues not only for herself, but also for her mom.
I'm not sure how much more I can say about this pair of graphic novels that I haven't already said for volume one, so this review may be unusually short for me! Please read the review for volume one to get the bulk of my views and insights, such as they are. I think my main problem, apart from not liking the art work or the insanely crowded images, was that the topics discussed here were really rather mundane - as sad and tragic as they may well have been for those persons involved, so there was nothing here for me to learn, and nothing to entertain or engross me. Volume one was better than two, but both were largely the same - a simple biography about the every day life of a rather dysfunctional family, but these "revelations" were neither unique nor particularly unusual in the big picture.
This volume covers the author's later life, post marriage, and it's really a comedy of irritations - using comedy in the Shakespearean sense. I really had little interest in these stories because there was very very little here which I have not experienced in one way or another, even if only vicariously by reading about it. In addition to his, I am not into hippie or new age stuff, and cannot take seriously books laid at the feet of a goddess or dedicated to a husband who is evidently superior not only to all husbands, but to all possible husbands. That just seemed unnecessarily unkind to me - as though everyone else's husband is second-rate at best.
This volume covers later events in the author's life, and the deaths of some family members. This is fine and I am sure it has import for family and friends, but it's nothing that other families do not go through, including my own so there is, sad and tragic as these events are, nothing to move me about these events. Death is a part of life, and it's coming for all of us sooner or later, so while we need to acknowledge that, and be prepared for it, we don't need to dwell on it or take pains to write paeans to it.
As I mentioned, the art work wasn't very good, and the images were way too crowded, and dark and insanely detailed to get the best out of them. In addition to that, there was often way too much text, which meant it was too small and hard to read at times, so I found myself skipping a lot of it because it was rambling or because I didn't want to go to the trouble of straining to read all that tiny text. That said, the writing itself, apart form being too wordy, was decently done. There were no spelling or grammatical errors that I saw, so this author can write, but perhaps needs a better topic.
I didn't appreciate the bad language in this case. I don't have a problem with it in a novel where it fits, but in something like this, it felt out of place. It could have been avoided and thereby perhaps made the message accessible to a wider audience. For me, it contributed nothing to the story, and it may keep some potential readers away. That said, this novel is explicitly about female function and organs, so maybe the language would make no difference! Some people are just too squeamish no matter what.
In short, I cannot recommend this volume because I didn't feel it was the best the author could do, or that it offered anything really new and engaging. I feel bad about this because I know there are important messages to relay about such events, and I also know that these things are important parts of the author's life, but I also think authors need to grasp that not everything that carries weight with them has the same gravity for anyone, let alone everyone else out there. I think we need to pick and choose what to relate and how to relate it, and I don't think this was the best approach.