French Milk

Friday, August 5, 2011


French Milk
by Lucy Knisley
★★★★☆

I loved this sweet graphic novel about a twenty-something’s 6 week trip to Paris with her mother. The nonfiction piece is written as her personal journal, but sets itself apart from other travel memoirs because it consists of drawing and comics of their day-to-day life there.



Lucy and her mother wander the streets of Paris, visiting markets and museums, but never in a hurry. I loved reading about their meals and the weather, but I’m sure not everyone would find it enthralling. The book reminded me so much of my own time in Paris and in other European cities. I think that the majority of the appeal of this book, for me, was the nostalgia it brought about for that time in my life. I have a feeling I wouldn’t have loved it if I’d never been to Paris or if I’d read it 30 years after my trip. It was close enough to my own experience to ring with familiarity.


The other draw of the book is Lucy herself. She’s sweet, but honest in her portrayal of herself. She felt like my friend, someone I’ve always known. She was sassy, but also struggling with becoming an adult. She realized that even on vacation, your problems don’t disappear. I remember the feeling of nearing the end of college and knowing everything was going to change. You’re applying for jobs and you’re terrified you won’t find anything, but at the same time you’re terrified they will hire you and you’ll have to enter the “real world.” She captures those feelings of anxiety perfectly.

If you don’t love reading about another’s person’s travels, don’t like France or don’t like food, skip this one. But for everyone else out there, this is a lovely look at one young woman’s time in Paris and it’s a great graphic novel to try if you’re new to the genre.

*Photos from book

13 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I thought this book was sweet, even though maybe a little self-indulgent. I've never been to Paris, but I do love my wine and my cheese! This book served as a travel journal and also captured the fear of entering the big world. A quick, pleasant read!

nomadreader said...

I really liked this one too! I spent some time in Paris around the same time Lucy did, and it made it even more fun. It also reminded me I should keep a better travel journal!

Vaishnavi said...

Sounds like a really sweet book! This one goes on my TBR list, thanks for sharing :)

Jenny said...

I thought this was such a dear book, and I love Lucy Knisley's art. Have you seen her Harry Potter posters? Where she recaps the whole of the Harry Potter series in pictures?

http://lucylou.livejournal.com/593585.html

So adorable, right?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - I definitely see the self-indulgent bit, but I think that's part of that time in life. Everything seems like it revolves around you.

nomadreader - I know, it puts my travel journals to shame. I have no drawing skills at all.

Vaishnavi - Yay, it's good.

Jenny - Those are awesome! I'd never seen those, I'm so glad you posted that link.

BookQuoter said...

Am pretty sure i would enjoy this!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I read this recently, too, and enjoyed it for similar reasons : it made me a bit nostalgic of our trip in Paris last year. I loved her drawings, too.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

BookQuoter - I think you would.

Kay - I think it would probably mean more to readers who have been to Paris. It was a great way to reminisce.

Aarti said...

This is one of those graphic novels that so many people seem to really enjoy, but that I haven't managed to get my hands on yet. It seems like one I'd enjoy. Have you read Anya's Ghost? You might enjoy that one.

Brenna said...

This sounds charming! I'll keep an eye out for it :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Aarti – I haven’t read Anya's Ghost yet. I think it looks good, I just need to get a copy.

Brenna – I think you’d like it.

Jillian said...

This sounds like something I would enjoy. I will try to look for it when I go to the library next time.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jillian - It's such a sweet book!