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Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression

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In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with h In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with her fears and anxieties and grasps at potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother’s Chinese elixirs, we come to understand one woman's battle against the cruel dynamics of postpartum depression. Dear Scarlet is a poignant and deeply personal journey through the complexities of new motherhood, offering hope to those affected by PPD, as well as reassurance that they are not alone.


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In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with h In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with her fears and anxieties and grasps at potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother’s Chinese elixirs, we come to understand one woman's battle against the cruel dynamics of postpartum depression. Dear Scarlet is a poignant and deeply personal journey through the complexities of new motherhood, offering hope to those affected by PPD, as well as reassurance that they are not alone.

30 review for Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression

  1. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Teresa Wong's illustrated account of her post-partum depression is courageous, funny, and sad -- difficult things for a book to be all at once. She wrestles with her guilt over not being able to breastfeed, feelings of inadequacy and self-blame, but through all of this, still manages to convey the love she feels for her newborn daughter. It's one of the first graphic novels that I can recall frankly addressing PPD, and that alone makes it a standout.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brigitte

    Reading this book took me right back in time to the birth of my premature first born. It has my mind whirling and wanting to spend some time in quiet reflection. While my heart hurts for the trials and suffering Teresa went through on her postpartum journey(s), it’s also almost relieving to know someone else has been through rough times and ‘gets it’. It’s a short and endearing read which I completed in a waiting room while my son is undergoing oral surgery. It’s a touching tale with lovely illu Reading this book took me right back in time to the birth of my premature first born. It has my mind whirling and wanting to spend some time in quiet reflection. While my heart hurts for the trials and suffering Teresa went through on her postpartum journey(s), it’s also almost relieving to know someone else has been through rough times and ‘gets it’. It’s a short and endearing read which I completed in a waiting room while my son is undergoing oral surgery. It’s a touching tale with lovely illustrations and something I think every mother should read. I can think of a few friends and family members who I’d like to give this to as a gift.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Barbara McEwen

    3.5 stars? Teresa Wong describes her experience with postpartum depression. I did think a lot of the experiences she describes are actually common to all new moms but regardless it is comforting to know you are not alone. I do wonder somewhat if it is glancing over just how hard it is with PPD or she just didn't want to go into that level of detail?

  4. 5 out of 5

    vostendrasamigosyotengolibros

    Thank you Edelweiss for this DRC. Well this a honest and necessary book about motherhood, so many things goes under taboo about that subject that I think it's really important to start talking to stop this ideal idea about maternal instinct and how people who gestates are just program by nature to manage that highly stressful situation.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Wow. This book was such an incredible read. The author depicts her experience with PPD in a way that clearly describes how emotionally and physically weakened she felt. She said so much with such simple drawings. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with PPD or any form of depression, or wants to learn more about it. It gives you a sense that you are not alone and that there is hope. I received a DRC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amit Verma

    This is a lovely help book for all mothers and would be mothers. It focuses mainly on post partum blues and depression but also discusses othe aspects like peripartum problems faced by mother and whole family. It is simple, informative and very helpful. Easy to understand language and diagrams. If you are looking for art, colors and designs you will not find any as drawings are simple. But thats how guidebooks should be. Simple and to the mark with minimum jargon. It would be helpful foe everybody This is a lovely help book for all mothers and would be mothers. It focuses mainly on post partum blues and depression but also discusses othe aspects like peripartum problems faced by mother and whole family. It is simple, informative and very helpful. Easy to understand language and diagrams. If you are looking for art, colors and designs you will not find any as drawings are simple. But thats how guidebooks should be. Simple and to the mark with minimum jargon. It would be helpful foe everybody involved in great event in every family's timeline- arrival of the new member. If educated beforehand many problems can be attenuated. Symptoms and treatment of post partum depression is nicely depicted.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tara Mackinnon

    That feeling when you pick up a book and you're completely immersed in mere moments. That's this book. The power of this book lies in its honesty. It's a beautifully written, illustrated journey through a story that is unlike my own, yet so relatable because of the way Wong tells it. I can relate to parts about being a new mother and the strangeness that ensues when it happens. When relaying her experience with postpartum depression, Wong isn't asking for your sympathy, she is sharing a space and That feeling when you pick up a book and you're completely immersed in mere moments. That's this book. The power of this book lies in its honesty. It's a beautifully written, illustrated journey through a story that is unlike my own, yet so relatable because of the way Wong tells it. I can relate to parts about being a new mother and the strangeness that ensues when it happens. When relaying her experience with postpartum depression, Wong isn't asking for your sympathy, she is sharing a space and time she occupied. It's poignant, culturally fascinating and personal. And I love her visual style. Simple, yet emotive enough to convey what it needs to. Thank you for sharing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    A lovely graphic memoir about the author's struggle with postpartum depression. I also had postpartum depression. This is the second or third memoir I've read about having PPD, and each experience is so different. I think it's really important for families considering having children to read books like this one. My only complaint is that I wanted more!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    This graphic memoir is about so much more than PPD. It also recounts the narrator's experience with birth and nursing trauma and speaks to the greater notion of the ways healthcare absolutely fails new mothers. There's no doubt a lot of people would relate to a lot of this, and I think the graphic novel style lends itself well to the PPD topic in particular, because so much about it is unseen and needs to be seen and understood more.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sachi Argabright

    DEAR SCARLET is an honest graphic memoir about Teresa’s struggle with postpartum depression after her first pregnancy. Told as a letter to her daughter, Scarlet, this book is an intimate look into the thoughts of loneliness, guilt, and fear that can be experienced by new mothers. This book shows how common PPD can be, even though most people don’t talk about it very openly, and acts as a resource to let others know they’re not alone. I’m not a mother, and I honestly didn’t know much about PPD bef DEAR SCARLET is an honest graphic memoir about Teresa’s struggle with postpartum depression after her first pregnancy. Told as a letter to her daughter, Scarlet, this book is an intimate look into the thoughts of loneliness, guilt, and fear that can be experienced by new mothers. This book shows how common PPD can be, even though most people don’t talk about it very openly, and acts as a resource to let others know they’re not alone. I’m not a mother, and I honestly didn’t know much about PPD before I read this book. I’ve read books where characters suffered from PPD, but didn’t realize what I was reading about. Teresa’s book clearly illustrates PPD in a relatable way, and I empathized with her throughout the story. She also brings a hopeful note to her memoir by showing some solutions and resources that can be used to help those suffering from PPD. I learned so much from this book, and will definitely be revisiting it as I approach motherhood. Great for those wanting to learn more about postpartum depression, or mental illness in general.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brigette

    Three words: Brave. Healing. Beautiful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)

    I just read this wonderful graphic novel by the Chinese-Canadian writer/illustrator Teresa Wong and it was just wonderful. I suffered badly from postpartum depression. And reading her account so much of what she talks about was the same for me. There is so much pressure on being the perfect mother especially when they are just born, that when you feel like the darkness is going to swallow you up, you feel even more like a failure because surely you should be so happy. And in a way, I was, but it I just read this wonderful graphic novel by the Chinese-Canadian writer/illustrator Teresa Wong and it was just wonderful. I suffered badly from postpartum depression. And reading her account so much of what she talks about was the same for me. There is so much pressure on being the perfect mother especially when they are just born, that when you feel like the darkness is going to swallow you up, you feel even more like a failure because surely you should be so happy. And in a way, I was, but it was also really hard. Without Anthony, who came home to a weeping mess a lot, and Joy, health visitor extraordinaire, I would have not made it. But we did. I am proud of my girl every day who is 12 now and funny and ace. Grateful every day.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peyton

    “Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression” is an amazing book that everyone should read. It is one of those books that highlights mental illness and shows that people are not alone in their struggles. It has a very important message and gives a more realistic perspective of some peoples’ experience with childbirth. I feel movies and media glorify birth and hide what the reality actually is. “Dear Scarlet” does not hide the truth, but instead present it in an easy, quick read. It is a “Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression” is an amazing book that everyone should read. It is one of those books that highlights mental illness and shows that people are not alone in their struggles. It has a very important message and gives a more realistic perspective of some peoples’ experience with childbirth. I feel movies and media glorify birth and hide what the reality actually is. “Dear Scarlet” does not hide the truth, but instead present it in an easy, quick read. It is a wonderful and necessary book. I loved how simple “Dear Scarlet” was. The images are basic, yet hold so much emotion. Nothing overwhelmed me. I read “Dear Scarlet” and felt better for knowing a different perspective of childbirth. Reading some of the reality women went through during birth is horrifying. I found that “Dear Scarlet” provided hope and optimism about postpartum depression. It is a shining beacon for those living in a world of darkness.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Dear Scarlet discusses Teresa's battle with postpartum depression with her first child. It has spots of humour, sadness, and is a compelling read. All through a letter to her first born child, Scarlet, she honestly bares the emotions she went through, the days that blurred, and how truly helpless she felt. PPD is a topic that I didn't know much of before, it's not something that is discussed in openly in society, but this book shows how common it actually is, letting others who are possibly expe Dear Scarlet discusses Teresa's battle with postpartum depression with her first child. It has spots of humour, sadness, and is a compelling read. All through a letter to her first born child, Scarlet, she honestly bares the emotions she went through, the days that blurred, and how truly helpless she felt. PPD is a topic that I didn't know much of before, it's not something that is discussed in openly in society, but this book shows how common it actually is, letting others who are possibly experience the same thoughts know they're not alone. It's honest, heartbreaking, but offers hope.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen Styles

    ‘Dear Scarlet’ resonated with me deeply. It is courageous, vulnerable and beautiful all at the same time. Teresa Wong’s telling of her personal journey with postpartum depression in the form of a graphic memoir has a way of opening up this (sometimes) dark topic to the light and providing hope in the middle of the muck of the mental health struggles. Though I’m not a parent, I’ve experienced depression and ‘Dear Scarlet’ made me feel seen and understood in a way that I can’t describe. Whether fo ‘Dear Scarlet’ resonated with me deeply. It is courageous, vulnerable and beautiful all at the same time. Teresa Wong’s telling of her personal journey with postpartum depression in the form of a graphic memoir has a way of opening up this (sometimes) dark topic to the light and providing hope in the middle of the muck of the mental health struggles. 

 Though I’m not a parent, I’ve experienced depression and ‘Dear Scarlet’ made me feel seen and understood in a way that I can’t describe. Whether for those who are experiencing depression (postpartum or otherwise) or for loved ones who want to empathize and support, this memoir will undoubtedly help so many people in so many ways.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bexa

    I enjoyed the story, and the message, but the artwork was very basic for me and that tended to pull me out of the story. I'm glad that she finally got the people around her to listen when she was saying that she was having a hard time with the baby and got the help she needed. I wish more doctors would listen to women when it comes to these issues as they're not uncommon, but like miscarriages, no one seems to speak about them.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    So good to continue to hear honest, healing stories of pregnancy and early motherhood. It's not all blue skies all the time and it's okay to take courage from another woman's courage and keep moving forward. Teresa is funny and to the point! Some women though, may not be able to relate to having so many resources (human and financial) to meet their needs, for me that doesn't diminish the impact of her perseverance through PP depression

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sveta Agaeva

    I think it's an important book to read for everyone. Majority of new mothers are afraid/feel bad about not having those motherry feelings and instincts that we hear about all the time. So this is an important read for everone: women to know they're not alone, men to know that it is a medical condition, it is a real problem and not just "feeling down".

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angelisa Russo

    This is a beautiful, funny, heart-breaking, and real portrait of postpartum experience told through a graphic narrative. The storytelling is engaging and very moving. This book is so important as PPD is pretty common, but not talked about so much in our culture and through literature. Highly recommended!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I was literally heave-sobbing while reading this. It explains postpartum depression so well. Not enough women talk about their experiences with it. My best friend sent it to me. I am kind of mad at her for making me cry like this, but love her to death for it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christine Gaza

    Read this in about an hour after I went back and looked at the art. I don’t know if this is the best graphic novel ever but I think the subject matter about post-partaum depression is so important. I would love to get this approved for women’s lit. A quick read with an important topic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Such a true, powerful, important story. Thank you for sharing and helping new moms not feel so alone.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jordana

    Poetic and poignant and beautifully heartfelt.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melanie McFarlane

    The perfect visual interpretation of a heart-wrenching situation.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    A beautiful graphic novel about post-partum depression

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chantale

    Honest and personal account of a mother's letter to her daughter about her post partum depression. Illustrations show that often you don't need words to depict a depth of emotion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Lapointe

    I was privileged to read an early copy of Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression. While I’m not a mother, I found this beautifully illustrated memoir completely relatable. I laughed (out loud), cried (possibly even louder), and—because I had zero doubts this book would be published one day—promised myself I would gift it to all my new-mom friends. That said though, this book is truly for everyone. And its message of hope, for anyone dealing with depression, is so incredibly importan I was privileged to read an early copy of Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression. While I’m not a mother, I found this beautifully illustrated memoir completely relatable. I laughed (out loud), cried (possibly even louder), and—because I had zero doubts this book would be published one day—promised myself I would gift it to all my new-mom friends. That said though, this book is truly for everyone. And its message of hope, for anyone dealing with depression, is so incredibly important. I’ve read it several times now. Always, I’m deeply moved by the courage and honesty in these pages.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Homant

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

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