Mini Review: Night Shift by Debi Gliori

May Contain Spoilers

Night Shift is a thin volume of brilliant illustrations depicting the author’s struggle with depression. As I read it, it touched very close to home. I struggle with anxiety. At times it is all encompassing. It sucks the joy out of many activities that I had been looking forward to. Vacations become nightmares. Travel days, especially if they involve an airport and the TSA, keep me awake at night days before the trip begins. I get sucked into a black hole of what if what if what if. What if I miss the flight. What if someone steals my bag at security (this almost happened, and now it is a constant fear). The anxiety dominates fear about work. What if I make a mistake. What if I can’t get everything finished in time.  What if I get fired?

Using images of dragons to represent her bouts of depression, the illustrations build in intensity as the monstrous creatures follow her from one page to the next, becoming ever more prominent, bursting into flame in one dramatic flash of color.  The hopelessness, the indifference of those around you, the fear of suffering through the darkness all alone. The author fruitlessly attempting to find a road map to “normal” and understanding why you don’t think like everyone else. I have been through all of this, too.

If you are struggling through depression and have no one to talk to, please all National Suicide Prevention at 1-800-273-8255. Someone will be there to talk to you.

Grade: 4 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

‘Debi Gliori is amazing. Her pictures offer people an insight into depression that words often struggle to reach. She makes visible the invisible. And I for one want to thank her for that.’
– Matt Haig, bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive
A groundbreaking picture book on depression with stunning illustrations.
With stunning black and white illustration and deceptively simple text, author and illustrator Debi Gliori examines how depression affects one’s whole outlook upon life, and shows that there can be an escape – it may not be easy to find, but it is there. Drawn from Debi’s own experiences and with a moving testimony at the end of the book explaining how depression has affected her and how she continues to cope, Debi hopes that by sharing her own experience she can help others who suffer from depression, and to find that subtle shift that will show the way out.
‘I have used dragons to represent depression. This is partly because of their legendary ability to turn a once fertile realm into a blackened, smoking ruin and partly because popular mythology shows them as monstrous opponents with a tendency to pick fights with smaller creatures. I’m not particularly brave or resourceful, and after so many years battling my beasts, I have to admit to a certain weariness, but I will arm-wrestle dragons for eternity if it means that I can help anyone going through a similar struggle.’