Thursday, December 16, 2010

French Milk - Lucy Knisley


Visiting Paris has been on my bucket list forever. Something about all that wonderful wine, pate and cheese just pushes my buttons. So take that fact, and add to it my new found love for graphic novels, throw in what seemed like two billion rave reviews for this book, and we have ourselves a must-read.

Synopsis: To celebrate Lucy's 22nd birthday and her mother's 50th, they rent a flat in Paris for nearly five weeks, and work their way through the city's museums, food and culture. Lucy, an aspiring artist, documents the experience through this visual travel journal, and makes friends with her mother and herself along the way.

My thoughts: Some graphic novels blow you away with jarring visuals or literary prose. This is not one of them. This novel is just simply charming. You are provided a glimpse of the curiosities of Paris through the eyes of a young woman, which is decidedly different (not necessarily in a bad way) from the perspective of someone who has been around the block. It is naive, sweet and a little shallow. It is the perspective of someone who misses her boyfriend back home, who is stressed about find a job and building a career, who slips into a malaise when her feet don't fit French shoes, and who is obsessive about art and French milk.

As a travel journal, it is not all-encompassing, but provides a fun overview of some landmarks and museums. And of course, there is the food!





































Lucy also included a few photos that she took in Paris as well. Not all the pictures were value-added, but I enjoyed the ones of her and her mother. Hanging over the edge of the Eiffel Tower to take a good picture or kissing Oscar Wilde's grave just would not be the same if illustrated.

So if you are looking for a quick stroll through the streets of Paris with an engaging but slightly self-absorbed young artist, look no further. It is a nice, two or three hour escape!

3 out of 5 stars

16 comments:

Melody said...

I've heard many good things about this graphic novel so it's definitely onto my wishlist! Plus, I'd love to read anything about Paris!

Frances said...

I checked this one out in the bookstore, and was a little bummed that the execution did not seem to live up to the concept or potential. But still interesting. But relegated to my "read it in the aisle and put it back" category of books.

bermudaonion said...

I enjoyed this book, too, but I have to say we never found any of that fresh, delicious milk when we lived in France.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm with you on the bucket list item!

Zibilee said...

I have been wanting to read this book for such a long time, and would also love to travel to France one day. It's good to hear that this is such a light and frothy read, and I now know I am going to want to pick this one up sooner rather than later. Thanks for the awesome review, Sandy!

marthalama said...

I'm not on the graphic novel bandwagon yet so I think I'll give this one a pass.

Ti said...

You had me at Paté.

I have fond Christmas memories of sailing on a yacht and eating yummy paté but I didn't do it in Paris. No. I had a French friend who happened to own a yacht! Good times.

Meg said...

I read this one earlier this year and really enjoyed it! You're right: it was a pretty on-the-surface, but I thought it was fun. And I was definitely hungry after finishing it!

Darlene said...

This is one graphic novel I think I'd like. I love anything Paris!

Julie P. said...

I haven't been able to focus on reading with all of the holiday hoopla. Maybe I should try a graphic novel.

heidenkind said...

I REALLY want to read this. And you definitely need to visit Paris at least once before you kick the bucket!

Stephanie said...

I agree that Knisley is self absorbed. I definitely found this to be a charming book though.

Iliana said...

Only 3 stars? That's alright I'll let that slide :)

I loved this one and I think it's because one particular diary entry (can't remember now exactly as it's been so long since I read this) really reminded me of that feeling of being out of sorts when you've been traveling for quite a while. Like you want to come home but at the same time it's bittersweet. I guess I've experienced that a lot so that's why it really resonated with me.

Jenners said...

It would be interesting to see what 10 years might do ... if she returned to Paris and wrote another version of the book.

Melissa M said...

i have this one somewhere on a shelf and will make a note that its a good light read!

Kathleen said...

Sounds like a fun read and Paris is STILL on my bucket list. If I go to Cologne, Germany this May I hope to take the train to Paris.