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Zine Reviews

Phases of the Moon #5

Phases of the Moon #5 is a book-length zine by Stacey-Marie about being in a relationship with an abusive alcoholic.  A young woman in a relationship with an abusive alcoholic man.

It’s really beautiful.  It’s disturbing, smart, and good.  The writing is fantastic.

It’s memoir with interspersed quotes from other texts.  I preferred Stacey-Marie’s words to the quotes, but I did value some quotes that explained abuse bonding.  They were insightful.

I grew up as a child of an alcoholic–I am familiar with alcoholism from a child’s perspective.  I never thought about my mom’s perspective very deeply–I didn’t dare.

So this zine was triggering for me.  Just when I thought the story couldn’t get any more disturbing, it did.  Around page 50, I felt sick.  Around page 80, I told Ming, “This zine is killing me.”  

(We were walking down the street, walking through sunlight, away from the cafe where I’d been reading.  I felt stuck in a nightmare, disoriented, and unwell.  But good writing can do that to me…)

And the ending is worth it.  And I could relate to the speaker a lot.  These are two quotes I loved from toward the end, ideas I’ve thought about over and over, through the years.

Was that my true self?  What does a “true self” even mean if we can so easily change based on our surrounding environment?  

and

I felt like if I accepted the disease model of alcoholism, then I would have to accept that all the fucked-up behaviors resulting from addiction were merely symptoms of a impersonal disease.  

I noticed some repetition in the storytelling, but it seemed okay there–the repetition worked–that’s how we think.

It’s text-heavy but there’s some visual art that definitely adds to the experience.  

Overall I loved this zine and recommend it to anyone who’s strong enough to read about abuse.  And I wish Stacey-Marie lots of readers and success.  

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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