Review: French Milk by Lucy Knisley (graphic novel)

First off, on a slightly cringe-worthy note… I’ve finally sold my soul to the God of Social Networking. Yes, it’s true – Booking In Heels has a Facebook page. It’s here. Obviously I’d love it if people could click that little ‘like’ button so I don’t feel quite so alone, and I’d love to follow back. It’s just that I’m starting to be proud of this blog and I want my friends and family to be able to see what I’m up to on here without, God forbid, actually visiting my site. *shuffles shamefully away*

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 Milk tells 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 Milk will make anyone pine for a tall glass of it – with a fondant, of course. 

So. Lucy goes to France with her Mum and draws about it. Le fin, as they say. It’s basically a travel diary in cartoon-form. There’s a huge emphasis on what they ate and bought, with pretty little descriptions and drawings. There’s no story or plot to it, it’s just a day-to-day diary of their trip.

It’s cute. Obviously Lucy can draw well, else the book wouldn’t have been published in the first place, but the style’s quite endearing. It’s obvious that she didn’t spend hours pouring over her sketchbook  – this diary is what she doodled in the evening as a way to remember her trip. It gives it a charming, whimsical kind of feeling.

Unfortunately, Lucy is neither charming nor whimsical. God, I wanted to impale her on the Eiffel Tower. She’s so whiny – she misses her boyfriend, Paris is too busy, her mother’s annoying, it’s too cold… I just wanted to throttle her and tell her to shut up and enjoy her time in Paris.

I really enjoyed reading it, but I think I’d have liked it more if it had a little less about the food, and a little more about the sights of Paris. I mean, I know she was drawing for her own sake, not for any future readers, but still.


  1. Whiny in a graphic novel? Hmmm… I'm not sure I like the sound of that. Thanks for the introduction though. I also liked your facebook page 🙂

  2. Hanna says:

    @ Alexis: oh you're a star! You're my first 'liker' haha! She is whiny, but it's still worth reading.

  3. Cath Brookes says:

    Wit, insight, and the sheer love of trying things permeate Miss Knisley's chronicle of staying in Paris with her mother. Well drawn and written, this travelogue will delight you from cover to cover!

    Cath Brookes
    We saw BC Digital Marketing

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