Phoebe Gloeckner's graphic novel depicts one of the most painful childhood and coming of age stories I've read in a long time. Minnie grows up with a verbally abusive stepfather who torments the entire family. When she gets older, he begins a sexual relationship with her. At 15, she doesn't recognize this as abuse but sees it as a way to prove that she's worth something.
She begins to drink and use a lot of drugs, and winds up in this horrific reality of blackouts, nameless strangers, rape, and desperation.
Minnie's story is broken up by quick tales of other people's misery. By the end of it, you feel like you need a shower and some therapy.
Gloeckner's art work makes the stories harsher and more painful by leaving little to the reader's imagination. Her drawing style consists of think lines and vivid detail.
Strong story, amazing artwork - an overall heartbreaking piece.