Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley
Reviewed by Lisa, Adult Services Librarian, Hillsborough Library
Lucy Knisley’s new graphic novel memoir, “Kid Gloves”, follows the author’s experiences with infertility, her troublesome pregnancy, and her son’s very traumatic birth. She tells her story with brutal, sometimes uncomfortable, honesty while remaining lighthearted, humorous, and informative. Sprinkled throughout the book are some very fascinating and bizarre facts about the history of pregnancy and childbirth that are sure to make you gasp in horror. For instance, did you know, Charlotte Brontë’s cause of death was most likely dehydration from hyperemesis gravidarum — a complication of early pregnancy which causes excessive nausea and vomiting? Even more surprising is that in those days morning sickness was considered a mental illness that a woman experienced when she didn’t fully want to be a mother.
Luckily, times have changed, and a lot more research has been done regarding women’s bodies, pregnancy and birth. As Knisley points out, though, we still have a long way to go. America’s maternal mortality rate is the highest in any developed nation and infertility is still a topic avoided in conversation. “Kid Gloves” shines a light on infertility and the struggles that women go through in pregnancy and childbirth.
Lucy Knisley’s story is one that so many people can relate to whether you have kids, want kids, or don’t want kids. Her memoir will have you laughing, wincing, and crying all in the span of a few pages.