French Milk by Lucy Knisley

In French Milk, Lucy Knisley recounts the six weeks that she and her mother rented an apartment in Paris to celebrate their 22nd and 50th birthdays. Its blend of comic book style drawings, travel photographs and personal thoughts gives the book a collage feel, and results in a feeling of intimacy with Knisley.

Knisley shares what she’s reading, how she’s feeling; from her bad moods to her longing for her boyfriend, and what she’s eating. This book made me pretty hungry. Most things set in France seem to affect my appetite like that.

I found that the main theme in French Milk, apart from travel, was the conflict that many people in their early twenties feel in as they make that strange transition from adolescence to adulthood, as well as the anxiety about soon having to make one’s own way that nearing the end of tertiary education produces. These are all feelings I’ve recently experienced, but have not really seen captured in a book before, so I really enjoyed and related to this aspect of Knisley’s thoughts.

This was just the trick today when I needed something light to entertain me while sick in bed. It’s short, whimsical, but also very poignant. And it’s my first graphic novel, I’m really keen to try out some more now after enjoying this one so much.

Other Reviews:

Paperback Reader


Lucy Knisley’s Official Site

7 responses

  1. Glad you enjoyed it! It does capture that transition period well and it’s a conflict that rarely seems to be tackled in fiction.

    The book made me hungry too especially for macarons.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    1. Thanks for introducing me to it via your review :).

  2. I’m so glad your first experience with the medium was so successful! I still haven’t read this one myself, but I definitely want to – I can really relate to the theme of feeling list in your early 20’s.

    1. I haven’t been able to think of anything else that contains that theme, most books/films seem to concentrate on the confusion of teenagers or adults later in life. I really wish there were more books out there that looked at it.

  3. […] the graphic/travel memoir “French Milk” written (and drawn) by Lucy Knisley over at Coffee Stained Pages where Dominique gave it a rave review saying it was “short, whimsical, but also very […]

  4. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on this one. I’m glad to see it captures that uncertain time in young adulthood so well.

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