Good Eggs: A Memoir

  • Review
By – August 24, 2011
From the bed­room, to the wait­ing room, to the hos­pi­tal room, this graph­ic mem­oir offers a fun­ny yet sin­cere por­trait of one couple’s attempt to nego­ti­ate the tough real­i­ty of infer­til­i­ty. Phoebe does her best to han­dle the jeal­ousy that besets her upon see­ing oth­er par­ents with chil­dren, the strain fre­quent doc­tors’ vis­its put on her mar­riage and her bank account, and the hope­less­ness she feels from one dis­ap­point­ment after anoth­er. A nar­ra­tive aside also describes Phoebe’s his­to­ry with depres­sion: when her post-col­lege career path leaves her dis­con­nect­ed and dis­con­so­late in Mex­i­co, try­ing to learn Span­ish to become a bet­ter advo­cate for the work­ing class, she is over­come by per­sis­tent neg­a­tive thoughts, for which she even­tu­al­ly seeks the help of ther­a­py and med­ica­tion. Sound heavy? Don’t be put off. In Potts’s com­pe­tent hands, seri­ous sub­ject mat­ter coex­ists nat­u­ral­ly with com­e­dy.

Judaism is a vital force in the book. Phoebe’s mother’s con­flict­ed rela­tion­ship with faith influ­ences her upbring­ing, but when a friend­ly new com­mu­ni­ty gives Phoebe a fresh look at the lov­ing side of Jew­ish thought, she dis­cov­ers a rich spir­i­tu­al home. Her work with the local Hebrew school fur­ther sparks her inter­est in learn­ing, and her gen­uine, if naïve, enthu­si­asm even leads her to inquire into the steps to rab­bini­cal ordi­na­tion.

The car­toon style of the book is clean and crisp, and detailed pan­els pro­vide a read­ing and visu­al expe­ri­ence that is engross­ing and sub­stan­tive. Extra touch­es — such as peri­od­ic glimpses at the inner thoughts of Phoebe’s slip­pers — add bursts of whim­sy. With this work, Potts estab­lish­es her­self as a tal­ent­ed artist, an insight­ful mem­oirist, a play­ful humorist, and a com­pelling storyteller.

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