I’m glad to have read this. It’s honest and human and opened my eyes just a little bit to a whole different area of human experience.
I love the balance of humour and frankness - I would say it successfully avoids sentimentality, but I feel like that makes it sound too calculated - it’s complex and real instead - a little slice of life beautifully communicated on paper. I read it in one sitting.
I bought this book after seeing the page where Nicola was returning home from work. There were four sketches of her journey and the way she managed this - 1. walking and crying, 2. on the tube (holding her emotions together), 3. walking and crying, 4. arrive home with bright sunny smiles calling out 'hiya'. I recognised that behaviour! The book is astute and accessible. I wanted something that I could relate to after the death of my own son, although my son was much older. The sense of loss, whilst ordinary life continues on and one's ability to cope are all issues touched on. When I opened the book on the first page, there was the picture of the hospital where my son had died, that was very unnerving for me. The art work is another medium which is easy to connect with. I highly recommend this book to you.
I enjoy graphic novels but they are generally male character led and don't reflect my life as an everyday mum. Men and women will find this a compelling read, the normality (and then, very sadly, the not normality) will resonate with you. A fine study of grief and a wonderful tribute to Billy - his character shines through this book.
A friend bought me this book, her friend had read it after losing her daughter. I sadly lost my little boy aged 2 yrs, last August 2012, just 23 painful and heartbreaking weeks ago. I do my best to get by and every day is a battle of wills.. I identified with this incredible, funny and poignant book within minutes. I read it in a matter of a couple of hours. I will lend this to another grieving Mummy and I have also bought another copy for another friend who I met whilst our boys were in hospital, she sadly lost her precious Samuel 2 weeks after our boy Reuben grew his angel wings. We live in a world which we wish didnt exist, and for which we wish we were not a part of... But we know we are not alone and Nicola's moving and humourous approach to a world where Mummy's & Daddy's lose their precious children has a breath of fresh air to it... reactions from others are not always what we want to hear or would expect and this is so well caputured in the book. We have set up a charity in Reuben's name and it will go on to serve as bereavement counselling and support for families that lose children, i can see this book featuring as part of our new future.... God Bless all Mummy's and Daddy's that have to go through the dreadful loss of a child.. and if you dont know what to do for someone that has.. please buy them this book...
At first glance, a book about the sudden death of a child from the mother's perspective sounds like it would be unbearably sad. However, while "Billy, Me and You" is incredibly moving (and you will probably need tissues), it is also funny and filled with warmth and hope.
In a few frames, Streeten is able to convey, so many emotions, whether it's the visceral agony of not having a child to care for any longer, or the awkwardness of the reactions of others.
This book is a triumph in the graphic novel genre and I've passed it on to my mother and sister, neither of whom had read a graphic novel before and they both loved, reading it in one sitting.
I know the author has started Laydeez Do Comics, and I'm hoping she'll soon do another novel.