French Milk

French Milk

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During winter break of her senior year of college, cartoonist Lucy Knisley and her mother embarked on a six-week adventure in Paris to celebrate milestone birthdays: Lucy's twenty-second, and her mother's fiftieth, each angst-inducing for their own reasons. Staying in a small rented apartment with plenty of quirks in the fifth arrondissement, they surprise themselves by falling into their new surroundings with an unexpected ease, content filling their days with visits to the market, cafe, and museums. French Milktells the story of it all through Lucy's illustrations and photos.

Filled with gorgeously charming drawings and photos of the sights, smells, and tastes of the City of Light, French Milkwill make anyone pine for a tall glass of it - with a fondant, of course.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2008.
ISBN: 9781416575344
Characteristics: 193 p. :,chiefly ill. ;,21 cm.


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Apr 20, 2018

The first graphic novel I ever read. Lucy Knisley is still my favorite graphic novelist and I must read everything she puts out.

May 26, 2017

Entertaining enough for me to want to finish it. Focuses on food, family and all things French.

Jul 07, 2016

After following Lucy Knisley's introspective and relate-able webcomic “Stop Paying Attention,” for some years, and I began to take a look at her published work. While I enjoyed “French Milk,” a graphic journal of Knisley's 2007 trip to Paris with her mother, it may have gotten just a bit too self indulgent for two hundred pages, however quick and pleasant a read it might be. “French Milk,” really succeeded in making me want to go to Paris (and caused me to think fondly back upon my own European adventures that same year) to eat the delicious food (though I might pass on the foie gras) and go to museums.

The story is less about her trip to Paris, her insights on French culture, or even her relationship with her mother, and more about her own thoughts on art, fears of getting old and failing, and other personal quirks. This might be a bit less noticeable in a webcomic but can get a little forced in a full book. Still, I do enjoy getting insight into the life of another person expressed in comic form, especially when I have entertained ideas myself. Her art is very nice, simple and cartoonish, yet great at expressing unstated feelings and atmosphere (though drawings of foie gras piled plates can get old). The photos of the trip included also really let the reader get a feel for the trip, or at least make it seem like the record of a good vacation. If I ever do find myself in France, I will definitely try out the milk just to see if it is really that superior to the American stuff, and the same is true for Knisley's other work

Oct 07, 2014

The drawings are simple, but I like the combination of drawings and photographs. Still, this novel reads like an ordinary tourist visit to Paris, with lots of emphasis on eating and shopping, and little insight into the author and her relationships with others.


Not as good as Relish but it's still a good book.

Oct 05, 2012

In 2007 Lucy Knisley and her mother spent five weeks in Paris together and French Milk is the resulting graphic novel of this time. I doubt very much that I will ever travel to Paris, but this fun little book with it’s details on museums, parks, art galleries and restaurants made me a very happy armchair traveller. Lucy comes across as a sensitive soul in her twenties which of course means a fair amount of internal drama which unfortunately she mentions only marginally. Lucy is not about to bare her soul or even delve into details about her relationship with her mother which was a bit of a disappointment as I found her mother an interesting character and I would have liked to have gotten to know both these women better.

Drawn in black and white, with real photographs scattered throughout this travel journal is fairly self-indulgent, but still enjoyable as a light read. I really can’t say that I will take anything from this book, or that it will linger in my mind in any way, but nevertheless, I enjoyed it for it’s light, trivial look at Paris.

May 08, 2011

Generally a cute graphic-travellogue. The premise is that the author spends a few weeks in Paris with her mom while working on her final project for her undergraduate degree - which is essentially this book. The story moves along at a nice pace, includes quirky observations and does a nice job of balancing the grandiose history of Paris with contemporary references that keep it modern (the trip takes place in Dec 06 - Jan 07).

There is extensive mention of all the food the author and her mom eat - sometimes it felt like I was just reading their daily menus (foie gras sounds exotic the first time or two, but after a while I felt like it was the book's filler). It would have been nice if she fleshed out her observations of the places she goes in Paris - more detailed drawings of markets and monuments - but that's easy for me to say in hindsight (as a traveller, I know travelling is not as glamorous as it seems).

The aspect of the narrative I didn't connect with as much was the focus on the author's 22nd birthday. When I was 22, I felt similar things about myself, life and the world - but now that I'm a ways past 22, reading the diary of a younger person feels a bit tiresome. I think this book will resonate with those in their early 20's - and there's nothing wrong with that!

jdneochi Nov 21, 2010

Lucy Knisley is an illustrator, author and singer. As well as a maker of funny puppet videos, which you can see on youtube by searching her name.

Her book French Milk was written about her 6 week stint in France with her mother. She describes the food, the people, and all the places she went to. It's almost like a tour of the place without having to be there.

She doesn't hold back any details, even talks about how much she misses her boyfriend and briefly delves into the aspects of a relationship, which are seldom written about and rarely by a female author. But it is this aspect of her writing that makes one love her writing. It is real as real gets because she doesn't hold back her feelings on the matter, however briefly it is discussed.

Anyways, again, this is a travel book which sometimes uses french terms, so have a french-english dictionary handy.

Jun 24, 2010

This was a very cute read - it made me want to take off to Paris for six weeks! I loved the details, observances and drawings about the sights, the food, the shopping, their experiences, the artwork, the people...It was nice to get a peek at such a wonderful vacation!

Dec 05, 2009

Graphical book. Very charming! Love all the details about food, art, shopping and people that make a holiday memorable. I can't think of anything better - a mother daughter vacation to Paris. Perhaps it touched me so much because my daughter is Lucy's age. I would reread again before travelling there, it would be a great little guide.

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May 08, 2011

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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