Crumbs of Comfort
A disease is consuming the body of Hind and Fatima-Zahra Eljadid’s mother. It is a slow and painful decline that inevitably causes instability during their upbringing. On top of that comes an acrimonious divorce from her aggressive husband, the presence and absence of a new man in her life, her own hot-tempered nature and tendency to hit out, the embarrassment the sisters sometimes experience on her behalf and the poverty in which they live, in a disadvantaged neighbourhood of Antwerp. Despite these difficult circumstances, the sisters have written and drawn a portrait of their mother that is in no sense vengeful. It is certainly shocking, but also a warm portrait of love from and for a mother. Rarely does a literary debut grow into such an out-and-out mother book.
‘Crumbs of Comfort’ is anything but a hagiography, rather it is poetic, with pages of unvarnished and harrowing prose interspersed with lines of verse and colourful illustrations that give readers a chance to catch their breath. At the same time it is a raw and frank elegy about unexpected small gestures, motherly love, parting, looking back, remembering and the emergence of sisterly love.
‘Crumbs of Comfort’ is in short a mother book that places just about all those that have gone before in the shade.Knack