French Milk

( 10 )

Overview

Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a milestone birthday. With a quirky flat in the fifth arrondissement as their home base, they set out to explore all the city has to offer, watching fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve, visiting Oscar Wilde's grave, loafing at cafés, and, of course, drinking delicious French milk. What results is not only a sweet and savory journey ...

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French Milk

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Overview

Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a milestone birthday. With a quirky flat in the fifth arrondissement as their home base, they set out to explore all the city has to offer, watching fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve, visiting Oscar Wilde's grave, loafing at cafés, and, of course, drinking delicious French milk. What results is not only a sweet and savory journey through the City of Light but a moving, personal look at a mother-daughter relationship.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A keenly observed letter back home...the pleasure Knisley takes in food and company is infectious." — Douglas Wolk, slate

"Charming." — Publishers Weekly

"Wonderful....Read it and you will not be disappointed." — Whitney Matheson, Usa Today

Publishers Weekly

For her 22nd birthday-and her mother's 50th-Lucy Knisley and her mother went to Paris. For more than a month, they toured the City of Lights from their fifth arrondissement flat, exploring museums and cafes, taking photographs, eating pastries and drinking French milk, which Knisley says is sweeter than its American counterpart; she compares it with the "influence we take in from our mothers." Knisley's first book is unquestionably a travel journal first and foremost: Lucy-the-writer is so close to Lucy-the-subject that at times the story lacks background and emotional complexity. But as a travel journal French Milk shines. Knisley's photographs from the trip punctuate sketches of her daily adventures and musings about graduating from art school, first love and having an adult relationship with her mother. Best of all are Knisley's portraits of home at the beginning and end of the book, which capture her childhood home and college life lovingly but with clear eyes. Knisley's cartoony drawings are pleasingly clean in one panel and tellingly detailed in the next. A word-of-mouth hit when it first came out in a self-published limited edition, French Milk will remind readers of their own early trips to Europe and of traveling in their 20s. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly

"Charming."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416575344
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 379,171
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.14 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucy Knisley is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently attends the Center for Cartoon Studies. During the month and a half she spent in Paris she estimates that she ate approximately sixty croissants, more than four hundred cornichons, and a metric ton of chocolate mousse. Born and raised in New York, she now lives in Chicago.

Visit www.stoppayingattention.com for more information.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 21, 2008

    Unique and Charming!

    What a charming and unique book! Lucy Knisley and her mother took a trip to Paris to celebrate milestone years for each of them. Her mom was turning 50 and Lucy was about to graduate from college. Lucy captured the trip perfectly in this illustrated journal. Eating, art, and shopping are the focus of the trip and I could almost taste the foie gras and pastries! I took a trip to Paris after college and some of the scenes Lucy drew feel just as I remember them, especially the staircase in the Louvre leading to the Winged Victory. Scattered throughout are photographs that she took on the trip and I enjoyed being able to compare her some of her drawings to photographs. In the end I felt like I had escaped to Paris for a few hours. I¿ll be eagerly looking to see what Lucy Knisley comes up with next.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    French milk - entertaining

    I thought this book was very entertaining. It wasn't what I thought it would be when I bought it, but it's a quick easy read as all the book is written in illustrated cartoons along with some photographs. It was a refreshing way to look at Paris through the eyes of a cartoonist and it included some interesting tid-bit information about the city only someone who had lived there for a month would be able to convey. It's a lighthearted fun read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Epitome of creativity

    Lucy Kinsley has hit the ball out of the park on this one. This is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. Its essentially a journal of the author's time in Paris with her Mother. The two rented an apartment for a month and saw the sites, ate the food, and watched Arrested Development in bed.

    The pictures are charmingly whimsical, and I love the candid nature of the Journal, it's really quite personal. In addition to chronicling their sightseeing adventures, the author writes about her internal struggle with graduating college and having to make her way in the world.

    I love the way the author writes not only about what she has seen, but she comments on her impression of what she sees as well. As she walks through the gardens of Versailles, she comments on how she likes to imagine ladies in their wigs and dresses scampering about. She talks about the decadent nature of the castle and paints a clear picture of what it may have been like to be there during that time.

    The novel also mentions a lot of places in Paris that she would recommend. This would actually make a nice travel guide, places that she has gone are described and drawn giving a great idea of what to expect.

    The novel is also peppered with photos from the trip. Its such an excellent balance of comic drawings and photos. The combination really gives the feel of being inside a private journal.

    I highly recommend this read. It took me about 2 hours from start to finish, coming in at about 200 pages it is a breeze to read. Why not try something new? Comics are fun, and this is an easy way to introduce yourself to the world of graphic novels.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2009

    How this was published I'll never know.

    Don't waste your money. The cartoon drawings are not very good and the writing is amateurish and self centered. It really is not worth the hour it takes to read the entire book and definitely not worth paying money for.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Cute But Lacking Substance

    I just finished reading "French Milk" and came away with a strong feeling that this book could have been so much more than it was. Instead, it was very much "middle of the road" for me, with the one benefit of it being a very short read.

    Knisley's travel diary is littered with photos and cute little drawings that recount her time in Paris with her mother. A large part of the book is spent talking about food. While food is such an essential component of Paris, I really felt that, due to Knisley's drawing style, the multitude of food pictures could have been totally left out. I mean, it all just looked like scribbles and triangles. I kind of felt like it was filler for the lack of a real, thoughtful experience that you'd expect from a diary of an American girl in Paris. There are glimpses, yes (such as Knisley's awareness of French men, and body issues as an American in super-skinny Paris) but they are gone a page later - leaving you wanting to know more.

    The preface mentions that the book "also deals with the valuable and significant influence that we take in from our mothers" yet we see none of that in it's pages. Knisley's mother is a side-character that we don't really even get to know - definitely not enough to draw any ideas about the influence she has on her daughter.

    One thing I did enjoy about the book was the format - a perfect mix of drawings, photos, and text. Maybe it's because I myself have always dreamed of going to Paris for a significant amount of time, but the book struck that envious chord in me. I'd recommend picking it up if you're a Francophile, but don't expect too much from it.

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    Posted September 1, 2009

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    Posted December 24, 2009

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    Posted May 19, 2009

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    Posted November 4, 2009

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    Posted September 21, 2010

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