Caribbean cruise during winter – yay!
Being with long-lived grandparents – good!
Traveling with them on the cruise – ummm…
Yes, Lucy did volunteer to go with her grandparents on the cruise, but dealing with dementia, body control problems, and boredom at sea weren’t quite what she’d planned on.
Enjoy an excerpt of this autobiographical travel graphic novel at the publisher’s site here. Get your copy soon – you won’t want to miss her grandfather’s actual WWII memoir which Lucy includes as she reads it during their unusual journey.
Lucy chronicled her growing-up years in Relish (my review here) and has written/illustrated other travelogues of her recent years, too.
My book talk: When Lucy volunteers to travel with her 90-year-old grandparents on a cruise, she encounters much more than a change from winter weather as she deals with failing memory, family history, hope, and mortality in this graphic novel autobiography continuing the Relish artist/author’s life story.
Why her grandparents signed up for the cruise is a mystery as they have limited mobility, bad hearing, and no interest in gambling, swimming, or tours. But someone must go with them on planes and shuttles, through TSA security, and aboard the gigantic ship, so away the young woman goes, carrying her granddad’s memoir of WWII along.
Yes, flying with multiple connections, dealing with her grandmother’s dementia and grandfather’s failing health, and trying to find something to do for a week at sea are very difficult for Lucy, as every day brings more glimpses of mortality and the infirmities no one can control. Each day, the chapter title shows the sea level rising and rising, like Lucy’s stress and worry levels.
No, it wasn’t time wasted, as reading the memoir, coaxing her grandmother into the warm pool, and learning how folks stay married for over 65 years are gems that she will treasure. “Good or bad, it’s important to feel connected sometimes. Even if that connection can be painful,” Lucy writes, as she phones to check on how her grandparents are settling in after the trip is over.