Mini Review: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Mini Review: Fun Home by Alison BechdelFun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Author: Alison Bechdel
Publisher: Mariner Books
Published: 2006
Genres: Adult, Non-Fiction, Memoir, LGBTQIA
Pages: 232
Format: Graphic Novel, Paperback
Source: Received as a gift
Buy on Amazon | Buy from Publisher

In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

I didn’t write too many notes as I was reading Fun Home, so I’m just going to make this a mini review where I share some of my notes:

  • It’s interesting how this book goes back and forth in time a lot. On one page, we see Alison at 3 or 4 different ages.
  • What? Women had to wear at least 3 articles of women’s clothing in the 1950’s? That’s a horrible, discriminatory law.
  • I saw the performance of the song “Ring of Keys” from the 2015 Tony Awards and it, surprisingly, made me more interested to read this graphic memoir. I usually don’t like musicals, but that song was catchy and even though I already wanted to read the book, I wanted to read it even more. But unfortunately, this part in the book that “Ring of Keys” is based off of is 3 panels. That’s it. How disappointing.
  • Johnny Tremain! I remember that book from school! 
  • Unfortunately, I find this book to be really pretentious at times.

Unfortunately, I just didn’t love Fun Home like I thought I would. I could relate to Alison in certain ways, but I don’t think that’s always completely necessary, especially in a memoir. But I think I was hoping for this to be more about Alison realizing her sexuality and coming to terms with it, but instead it was more about her father. Which is fine, it just wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping for. I still enjoyed Fun Home, though, and might pick up Bechdel’s other graphic memoir, Are You My Mother? one day.



  1. Nina @ Looseleaf Reviews

    September 28, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it more! I read it for class (she’s an alum of my school) long before the play came out and got to hear her speak on it. I thought it was very insightful, though I understand where you’re coming from, too.

  2. Kate @ Midnight Book Girl

    October 1, 2016 at 5:21 am

    I do want to read this someday, but I’m going to be a good girl this upcoming Readathon and try to read the graphic novels I already own instead of bringing home a huge stack from the library. I kind of dig when graphic novels are based on real life (My Friend Dahmer, It Did Happen), so this sounds right up my alley!

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