Books · Graphic Novels · Non-Fiction · Reviews

Review: Ducks

Hi friends, happy Monday, I hope you’re all doing well! Today I’m posting my review of Kat Beaton’s graphic novel memoir, Ducks.

Read more: Review: Ducks

This was short-listed for Canada Reads 2023.


Ducks by: Kate Beaton: This graphic novel details the two years that Beaton spent in the Alberta Oil Sands. This really opened the reader’s eyes into quite a few things. It brought forth how and why people find themselves in the oil sands, how women are treated out there, the way the job affects everyone’s mental health and lastly it showed who these oil sands affect the most in terms of proximity to them. All of these things this reader never thought about until reading this. This was such a raw, emotional, yet also educational read. Reading her experiences in a male dominated field, isolated from most of society in a time before cell phones and social media blew up was so interesting as she exposed things she went through. This wasn’t always an easy read. For something that looked light (although the book itself is quite heavy – a metaphor for its content), this could be really daunting and harrowing to read. The reader liked how much the author was able to pull away from her own experiences and try to subjectively look at certain things. This also felt like a really important book for Beaton to not only write, but for readers, especially Canadian ones, to read and to learn more about. This also talked about how the oil sands affected (and still do) the land and the people around it, especially the Indigenous communities. In between all the harder topics lighter content was buried within. It was always a delight to see Beaton’s humour poke through because she could be quite witty as well as artistically talented. Her art was beautifully drawn; at times it was so lifelike that it stunned the reader. This is a memoir that is going to stay with the reader for some time; the mix of content and art have made it truly memorable.


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