Displacement, by Lucy Knisley

displacementWhen Knisley’s elderly grandparents sign up for a Caribbean cruise, her family want some one to go with them, as they require constant care. Knisley volunteers, knowing that she doesn’t have a lot of time left to spend with them. The job, however, will be extremely difficult, dealing with the deterioration of both her grandparents’ mental and physical health.

This is my fourth book by Knisley. While I was slightly disappointed with the last one, I adored her first two, and the moment I read the description of Displacement, I knew I would love it too. (Short review: I did.)

I’ve been on two cruises, both through the Caribbean. Both times, it wasn’t the cruise itself I was interested in, but the locations the cruises traveled to. I would have loved to be able to travel to all those places without the touristy claptrap of a cruise, but yeah…can’t afford it…so I did the whole travel-light thing. This meant that while I enjoyed seeing all those places, I was also intensely aware of the whole mall/casino-on-a-boat feel. I loved some things, hated some things, laughed at a lot of things, and, well, raised my eyebrows a lot. And nearly everything I experienced, Knisley addressed in one way or another in Displacement.


(Oh my god I experienced exactly this…)

I laughed my way all through this book, and got teary in places as well. Knisley did an amazing job of contrasting the absurdity of cruising with the seriousness of taking care of loved ones. Frivolity goes hand in hand with mortality and the impending death of loved ones. An incredibly wide range of emotions was sketched into this one week of travel. This is Knisley at her best. Highly recommended.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
This entry was posted in 2015, Adult, Visual and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Displacement, by Lucy Knisley

  1. Shaina says:

    I’ve seen Knisley pop up in a few places lately. This one sounds the most interesting of all her work, so I’ll have to investigate! Is it a graphic novel, or just illustrated?


    • Amanda says:

      It’s a graphic novel – or a graphic journal. All her books are more or less journals that she keeps. I think that’s fascinating! My favorite is French Milk, but all the rest have been good, except Age of License which felt a little less tight/together than the others.


  2. kay says:

    I’ve never been on a cruise, but I love Lucy Knisley. I didn’t know she had a new book coming (didn’t she have a new one just this past fall? Or did I dream this?) but now I’m adding this one to my wishlist! She’s really great at illustrating so many emotions, with depth and humor too.


  3. Trisha says:

    I really need to read French Milk; it’s been on the shelves for years now and I never pick it up.


  4. Yayyy! So glad this one hit home with you. I just loved it.


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