Wednesday, May 2, 2012

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

In this graphic memoir, Lucy Knisley shares the journal she kept the winter break before she graduates from college.  She and her mother rent a Paris apartment and live there for six weeks.  Lucy sees the sights, eats lots of excellent French food, and tries to figure out the rest of her life.

This was a day-by-day journal of Lucy's six weeks in France.  At first, it was just a travel log.  Where she went, what museums she went to, the restaurants she ate at.  Lucy details pretty much everything she ate the whole trip, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so if you're a foodie you'll love this.

As her time in France goes on, Lucy begins worrying about her future.  She's about to graduate college and try to be a comic writer and illustrator.  How will she ever survive?  She has a period where she's pretty depressed and doesn't even feel like getting up.

It was a great journal of Paris and the sites and foods (I want to go to the Marche aux Puces, a flea market that's been there forever, so badly!) but it was also a great coming of age story.  I think almost anyone would be able to identify with Lucy, and the anxiety she's feeling about taking the next steps in her life.

The journal is made up of a mix of photographs taken on the trip and Lucy's art.  Lucy's drawings are not especially detailed, and they have a very friendly feel.   It's so clear when she's drawing people she cares about.  When she draws her friends or her boyfriend John, you can see in the lines how much she loves these people and how much she was missing them.  One of my favorite pictures was the the one of John sleeping after she gets back.

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