2018 in Books | January

In January I only finished one book; a lengthy coming-of-age graphic novel by Tillie Walden, called Spinning.

Spinning by Tillie Walden ★★★★☆

This book was given to me as a Christmas present. It’s essentially a memoir about the author growing up in the world of figure skating, and the different pressures the author/main character receives from all sides as an adolescent. The rigorous training regimes, a relocation to a completely different state, and a secret girlfriend all mount upon the main character, and we see her face depression and loneliness as she is denied freedom to love and live in a way that she wants. I feel like there are conflicted feelings towards the skating which is reflected in the novel; it’s beautiful, but hard. The main character is moving toward adulthood, and deciding: is it worth it?


I love Walden’s use of colour and space; the accents of yellow in the pits and stretches of deep indigo are exquisite. I think she is a very talented graphic artist. The narrative was paced well, but I was left wanting more moments of hope and resolution; I’m not sure if this book has a happy ending, and happy moments are sparse. A melancholy read which I appreciated on many levels, though.Spinning-7.jpg