In Spite of Ourselves by Natalie Dupille is a travelogue of Natalie’s first long-distance bicycle ride with her partner, Allie. The initial plan for their four-day bikepacking excursion in the Pacific Northwest quickly runs into challenges that force each Natalie and Allie to confront feelings of inadequacy, but also to lean on each other for support. The two face issues around gender, body image, self-esteem, and self-worth.
Through expressive line drawings and skillful watercolors, Natalie captures great moments of joy and natural beauty, but also very difficult emotional moments. You will find yourself immediately invested in the journey, and feeling each emotion as they come at you like the inclines and declines of the hills on Natalie & Allie’s bike trek. As much as there are great moments of emotional confrontation, Natalie also gives a lot of time to quiet moments with nature, corny humor, and a good plate of fries.