Book Review: French Milk

French Milk

Lucy Knisley


208 pages

I admit it–until yesterday, I was a graphic novel virgin.  In fact, as far as graphic novels go, it would never have crossed my mind to read one until I started this blog.  I wasn’t familiar with the genre and I never really came across them until a few months ago.  So I decided maybe it was time for me to go ahead and bite the bullet.  French Milk came into play because I am traveling to Florence in a few weeks.  Knisley was in Paris–not Italy, but I still thought reading about Europe in general would get me in the right frame of mind.

French Milk is basically a travel journal and is, in one word, charming.  Knisley was in her early twenties when she travelled to Paris with her mother for four weeks at the end of 2006/beginning of 2007.  They live in a Parisian flat and spend their time eating and exploring Paris.

When I say that Knisley and her mom ate, I am not kidding.  A good portion of French Milk had to do with the delicassies around Paris, including–you guessed it–French milk.  Now there is nothing about French milk that interests me, being that I am not a fan of milk at all, but the rest of it made my mouth water.  Part of the reason I’m so excited for Florence is all the great food, so I could understand Knisley’s excitement over all the delicious food she could eat.

My only issue with this book was Knisley was a bit too whiny.  Half the book dealt with her missing her boyfriend and being homesick in general, along with her being sick or feeling unwell every few pages.  At some points I just wanted to shake her and tell her to enjoy the time she had in Paris because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I am not a traveller–I get homesick, I get anxious.  I am nervous for my trip to Florence, but still–her whining went overboard even for me.

And now, here are two frames for my readers to see what the style of French Milk is like.

I am glad I chose French Milk as my inaugural graphic novel because I enjoyed it immensly and it whetted my appetite for more graphic novels.

Other Reviews:

BermudaOnion’s Weblog

My Cozy Book Nook

Estella’s Revenge

Ms Bookish

Pop Culture Junkie

One Swede Read

Boston Bibliophile

Fizzy Thoughts

I borrowed this book from my local library.

12 Responses

  1. I enjoyed this book and agree with you that the author was a little bit whiny. I figured she was somewhat immature. Thanks for linking to my review!

  2. I read this one a few months ago (also my first graphic novel) and found it delightful. I wasn’t as bothered by her whining, mostly because it felt like such a normal reaction to her circumstances (as did her guilt for feeling that way) – I lived abroad for a while and most of the expats I was with felt that way at one time or another. Loved all the food descriptions too!

  3. Having travelled, I can totally understand being homesick and whiny for awhile. I’m really looking forward to this book.

  4. I’ve seen a lot of reviews for this and it sounds really good. I’d probably get annoyed with the author too because I am actually a good traveller. I love going places and I’m basically never homesick. Still sounds good though.

    I’m sure your trip to Florence will be amazing!

  5. I’ve seen other reviews of this book but somehow I missed that this is a graphic novel. How could that be? I must not have been paying attention or something.

    I’m not a fan of graphic novels but I would read this one since it’s based on travel. I love the idea of traveling but I am not a good traveler. I pack way too much and get way too stressed so I am the perfect armchair traveler 😉

  6. I’ve only read 2 graphic novels myself (from the Fables series) but I enjoyed both of them. I really need to pick up some more and this sounds like one I would like. Great review and have fun on your trip!

  7. This is a good intro to graphic novels, I think.

    And have I mentioned you must stop by Grom for gelato while you’re in Florence? It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it!

  8. I was a graphic novel virgin until earlier this year too. This is one that many people have recommended to me to try for my next one.

  9. I’m pleased to hear that your first graphic novel experience was good. I had never thought to read one until I started blogging either. I hope you discover many more great ones in the future.

  10. I have yet to like any graphic novel I’ve tried but I’m considering this one since so much else about it is appealing to me.

  11. This was one of my favorite books in 2009 and I agree with all that you said. I think Knisley’s whininess can be chalked up to her age and being at that point in her life when she’s at a crossroads, coming to the end of one phase of her life and moving on (but not sure where) to another.

    I actually did try foie gras last year because of this book, and while I didn’t hate it, I don’t see myself eating it in the quantities Knisley did. Now the pain du chocolat, that’s another story!

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