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The Crack Magazine

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Book Of The Month: Lights, Planets, People! by Molly Naylor & Lizzy Stewart

In this graphic novel we are first introduced to Maggie Hill when she is ensconced in the stall of a toilet block, situated inside a university. She is trying her best to gee herself up (“Okay… Okay… You can do this.”). Maggie is an astronomer and is due to give a lecture entitled ‘Inspiring Women’ in front of an expectant bunch of students. Things aren’t helped however, when she makes it to the lecture hall only to find that her Powerpoint equipment isn’t working and she has to wing it. As she tries to give her talk, we learn, via flashback, how Maggie first became interested in science (the 1969 moon landing), how she copes with her bipolar disorder, and how she has started to see a psychotherapist. We also get the backstory of her relationship with another woman, Jane. It’s beautifully written and the nuggets of wisdom it contains never feel crow-barred in (“You have to be allowed to fail. Because when we strive for perfection, we relinquish our humanity.”) The ending, not in the least bit pat or contrived, left me with a warm glow. RM

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