#CBR9 Review #19

Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley

I’ve heard of Lucy Knisley before on CBR and Goodreads. I greatly enjoyed Relish, even if the graphic novel layout didn’t always meet my expectations. And then I read Something New and immersed myself in the incredible storytelling and art. It’s a delightful and insightful memoir that merges art and philosophy proficiently.

Knisley talks about the journey of her wedding, from her relationship to her husband and the winding path of love, to her engagement and subsequent struggle to identify as a “bride.” She unpacks the idea of wedding and why she even had one, how she found herself shifting identity as a longterm partner to a man and the way heteronormative narratives can narrow our identities, and why her love for her husband prevailed over the other more annoying aspects of wedding culture. Interspersed with these thoughts are little ideas or designs to make a wedding homey, original, and personal. Overall, the memoir is a timeline with plentiful sidebars that reflect on why we marry and how we choose to do so.

I really wish this book had come into existence when I was getting married, because I would have found this to be a panacea to my wedding anxiety. I was finishing my Master’s degree and planning to move to our current location when I was planning my wedding. The Chancellor was a first-year teacher and new to an area, and he was stressed out. I got into so many fights with my mom, because I did NOT want my wedding to be a huge fussy affair, and I suspect she had other ideas. At the end, though, we all had a blast, and I love my husband more than I did the day we married. If you’re unconventional or offbeat, I highly recommend Something New to you. I look forward to see what Knisley analyzes in her next book.

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