Cassie Recommends…

French Milk by Lucy Knisley
There are quite a few things I want to say about this book & about my experience reading it & right now all of my thoughts are pretty jumbly, so I’m thinkin’ a list format may work best.

1. Yes, I grabbed this book off the shelf because of its title. I don’t know what it is about the word “milk” but I love it! I just ordered a book about the history of milk (a review of that to come), for crying out loud!

2. This was the first graphic novel I had ever read. Though, novel implies fiction & this is actually a journal; the travel memoir of a girl & her mom on a trip to France told through her illustrations.

3. This book will suck you in! It may take you all of 2 hours (if that) to read it cover to cover & as soon as you finish you will probably want to do one of two things: read it again or book a flight to France. Or both.

4. I know, I know, “girl’s diary” sounds pretty ….unappealing. Really, that is just the most basic, bare bones way to tell you what the book is about. And, truthfully, there is not a ton of action going on plot-wise. But Knisley does an incredible job of transporting you overseas. She pays such critical attention to things like food & weather & people’s faces. These things may seem wholly inconsequential but, if you give this book a chance, you will begin to see that the fine details are what make us as readers forget that we are reading words on paper & instead feel like we are experiencing what is being described. If you have ever read a book & then found yourself wondering what those characters were up to days (weeks, months, years…) after finishing, you will know what I am trying to get at.

5. Finally, considering the holiday season that is rapidly approaching, this book will make such a great gift. It is the very definition of charming, sweet & dear. It is perfect for your college-bound daughter, your college-graduate daughter, your niece, your sister, your girlfriend, your girl-friend, your secret Santa recipient.

This book will never win a Nobel or a Pulitzer. You may never hear a word about it in the chain bookstores. You might not hear another word about it anywhere else. But take solace in the fact that you get to be the first to tell your friends & family. Come to the store, read the first 10 pages & if you’re not hooked, you’re not hooked. But if you keep saying, “just one more page, just one more page,” be prepared to start spreading the juicy rumor that French Milk is the new black.

Posted by cassieswank

2 thoughts on “Cassie Recommends…

  1. Cassie,

    I too LOVE MILK! I am going to buy this book for my wife, Sarah, who spent The Summer of ’99 studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. It seems she’ll love it, and it can go with all her other stuff in her Parisian Room.


    Marty J. Reeder author of The Summer of ’99

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