This graphic memoir is a thoughtful examination of a young woman learning hard truths and trying to find love and support as she figures out what to do with them. Nicole Georges has always believed her father died of colon cancer when she was very young. But she suddenly learns as an adult that he never died at all and that the truth had been hidden by her mother her entire life. The title, Calling Dr. Laura, refers to Dr. Laura, one of the most popular talk show hosts in radio history. Nicole calls Dr. Laura hoping to get advice about whether she should confront her mother about the lie. At the same time, Nicole needs to let her mom know aspects of her own life (the book has an inspiring and difficult coming-out story), and the layers of truth and deception interplay to create a powerful portrait of her mother-daughter relationship.
Georges details some horrific characteristics of her mother but retains an innocence through the process. There is also a heartbreaking relationship scene that ends with a luxurious moment where Georges gets to enjoy unconditional canine love that gets her through.
I recommend Calling Dr. Laura for anyone interested in complicated families, or thoughtful graphic novels/memoirs in general. It drifts along with a relaxed pace that may bore some, but the power of emotion and spirit within the pages are certainly worth the read for anyone.