AUTHOR: Paco Roca
PUBLISHED DATE: January 22, 2015
I can't remember the last time I read a graphic novel that was as witty, heartbreaking, touching, and honest as Wrinkles. There are a lot of books tackling the delicate topic of Alzheimer's, but this one breaks the mold. I first became aware of Wrinkles - the movie when it was suggested to me on Netflix in the Comic to Movie adaptation. I checked my library Hoopla account to see if I could borrow an ebook version of the comic, and sure enough it was available. I read it. Laughed, cried, and then immediately watched the animated movie which is as hilarious and poignant as the book.
Ernest has Alzheimer's. After a particularly frustrating exchange where Ernest won't eat his dinner, his children put him in a nursing home. Ernest quickly meets a smooth talking resident named Miguel who shows Ernest how to take full advantage of his nursing home experience. Ernest meets a colorful cast of characters, all of whom have various challenges living in and adapting to life in an assisted living facility. Many of the residents have Alzheimer's, like Ernest, and Roca does a marvelous job of weaving the elements of the fantastical to show how individual characters are affected by the disease. Through Ernest, readers and viewers, get to see how Ernest tries, with the help of Miguel, to maintain a sense of dignity in a place where dignity is hard to maintain. The ending will absolutely gut you as Ernest ultimately loses his battle with Alzheimer's, his decline as sudden as it is gradual. Roca does a fantastic job of giving readers so much story through the illustrations. Though the writing is very literary, Roca is deft at using imagery to give further meaning and emotion to the story.
Recommendation: MUST READ! It's tempting to recommend this to people and families affected by Alzheimer's, but this is truly a human story that speaks to the determination of human spirit. It can and should be read by all people regardless of your experience to the disease.
Audience: Everyone. Young adults as well as grown folks can read and enjoy this graphic novel.