In 2008, Martha Grover was diagnosed with Cushing's disease, a rare hormonal disorder whose 81 symptoms include "electric shock sensations under the skin," "changes in body odor," and "minimal scarring." Martha moved back in with her family, worked at a fancy supermarket's cheese counter, and wrote the 15th issue of her zine, Somnabulist, which consists almost exclusively of the minutes of her family's weekly meetings.
"Simone and Mom are the only ones who didn't cry today in family meeting," one entry begins. During other meetings, the Grovers bicker about where to put the compost bin and share tips on preventing car break-ins, but each meeting is hilarious and tender in its own way. Together with Grover's essays, they create a portrait of an unusual but loving family who are forced by circumstance to figure out how to live together as adults.
Elsewhere in this collection Martha interviews her ex-convict grandfather, makes a special excursion to a medical supply store, and tries to date, despite an illness that makes her tired, depressed, and overweight. Her descriptions of her sometimes-thrilling, sometimes-agonizing everyday experiences result in a book that's not remotely ordinary.
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