This slim graphic travel memoir details in words and drawings Lucy Knisley’s trip to Paris with her mother the semester before her graduation from college. It’s very much a young adult book; Lucy is trying to figure out her future, dealing with rejections and insecurities about what path to take, so the book, at times, is highly angst-ridden. It is at its best when Knisley lets her ego go, and she sits back and enjoys what Paris has to offer. The food! The art! The architecture! The history! The people!
The trip is in January, so the book has a very wintery feel. But even with that, it’s a joyful experience. Told through drawings and pictures, Lucy captures Paris in a way I’ve never read before. The only thing it lacks is a sense of smell: I could see what she saw, feel what she felt, but I wanted to smell it all as well. French Milk is often touristy, but Knisley also went off the beaten path, discovering shops and markets and museums that your average tourist wouldn’t have the time to do. (In other words: I’d love to have the opportunity to be this kind of tourist!)
Mostly, though, what this book made me do is long to be in Europe again. The pace of life, the sensibilities, the food … I’m just a European at heart, I guess. And this book tapped into that for me. And I really enjoyed that.
Rated: Moderate, for two f-words and a bunch of pictures of nude art.