Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

A graphic novel memoir about love, faith, and coming of age in a small town.


"Blankets" by Craig Thompson is a captivating graphic novel that delves into the complexities of first love, family dynamics, and spirituality. The novel beautifully illustrates the emotional journey of the protagonist, exploring themes of faith, self-discovery, and the power of human connection. Through stunning artwork and poignant storytelling, Thompson weaves a narrative that resonates with readers on a profound level.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

"Blankets" follows the life of Craig, a sensitive and introspective young man, as he navigates the challenges of growing up in a strict Christian household. The story unfolds against the backdrop of rural Wisconsin, where Craig grapples with the weight of his family's expectations and the complexities of his first love.


The novel is primarily set in the small town of Philomath, Wisconsin, where Craig spends his formative years. The rural landscape and the isolation of the town play a significant role in shaping the protagonist's experiences and outlook on life.

Main Characters

The novel features several key characters who influence Craig's journey:

CraigA sensitive and introspective young man grappling with the challenges of his upbringing and first love.
RainaCraig's first love, a creative and free-spirited girl who becomes a pivotal figure in his life.
PhilCraig's younger brother, who struggles with his own issues within the family dynamic.
Their ParentsRepresenting the strict religious upbringing and its impact on the family.

Story Points Over Chapters

Chapter 1 - Childhood and Faith

Craig's early childhood experiences and the influence of his strictly religious upbringing.

Chapter 2 - First Love

Craig's blossoming romance with Raina, highlighting the intense emotions and challenges of young love.

Chapter 3 - Family Dynamics

Exploration of the strained relationships within Craig's family and the impact on his sense of self.

Chapter 4 - Self-Discovery

Craig's journey of self-discovery and the conflicts he faces as he begins to question his religious beliefs.

Chapter 5 - Reconnection

Reconnecting with Raina and the profound impact of revisiting their shared past.

Chapter 6 - Resolution and Growth

The resolution of internal conflicts and the growth of the protagonist as he finds a sense of closure and acceptance.

Main Events

  • Craig's exploration of his faith and the conflicts that arise within his family due to his questioning.
  • The intense and transformative experience of first love with Raina.
  • The emotional reunion with Raina and the impact of revisiting their shared memories.

Themes and Insights


  1. First Love and Identity: The novel explores the intense emotions and self-discovery that accompany first love, shaping the protagonist's sense of identity.
  2. Family Dynamics: The impact of familial relationships and the struggles of coming to terms with the expectations and conflicts within the family unit.
  3. Faith and Belief: The exploration of religious upbringing and the conflicts that arise when personal beliefs diverge from traditional teachings.


Thompson's storytelling offers profound insights into the complexities of human emotions, the transformative power of personal growth, and the enduring impact of first love on one's life journey.

Reader's Takeaway

"Blankets" offers readers a poignant and deeply emotional exploration of love, faith, and self-discovery. The novel's rich artwork and compelling narrative provide a thought-provoking and relatable experience, resonating with anyone who has grappled with the complexities of personal relationships and the search for individual truth.


In "Blankets," Craig Thompson crafts a masterful narrative that intricately weaves together themes of love, faith, and the human experience. Through the protagonist's emotional journey, readers are invited to reflect on their own experiences of first love, family dynamics, and the pursuit of personal truth. With its evocative storytelling and breathtaking artwork, "Blankets" stands as a timeless exploration of the universal struggles and triumphs that shape the human spirit.

Blankets FAQ

  1. What is 'Blankets' about?

    Blankets is a graphic novel memoir by Craig Thompson that delves into themes of first love, family, and faith. It explores the author's coming-of-age experiences, including his relationship with his brother, his first love, and his struggles with his religious upbringing.

  2. Is 'Blankets' suitable for young readers?

    While 'Blankets' is a graphic novel, it contains mature themes and content that may not be suitable for young readers. It deals with issues such as sexuality, faith, and family dynamics in a raw and honest manner.

  3. What makes 'Blankets' unique?

    One of the unique aspects of 'Blankets' is its evocative artwork and the emotional depth of its storytelling. The graphic novel format allows for a powerful visual representation of the author's personal experiences and inner struggles.

  4. Is 'Blankets' a standalone book or part of a series?

    Blankets is a standalone graphic novel and is not part of a series. It is a complete, self-contained work that tells the story of Craig Thompson's formative years and his romantic relationship.

  5. What genre does 'Blankets' fall into?

    Blankets falls into the genres of graphic novel, memoir, and coming-of-age story. It combines the visual storytelling of a graphic novel with the personal reflections and recollections of a memoir.