French Milk, Lucy Knisley

This was a gift that I bought for someone’s birthday, and I read it before I gave it to my friend.  I’m sorry! In my defense, I read it incredibly carefully.  I mean just incredibly carefully, you have no idea, I practically had to poke my nose inside the book, because I was opening the covers only the littlest possible bit. Whatever, there is no excuse for me.  This is fine when I do it with my friend tim, or my Indie Sister, or even my mother, because I know they are all doing the same thing with (at least some of) the books they give to me.  But I should not make a habit of it.  Bad.

French Milk is a graphic memoir.  When she was twenty-two, Lucy Knisley and her mother spent a month in Paris, eating the foods and seeing the sights.  It’s simple black and white drawings, with everything labeled, just a journal of the things they did and saw, and Lucy’s struggles to be, you know, a grown-up.  It’s tricky.

They went to see Oscar Wilde’s grave!  She knows who Ada Leverson and Robbie Ross are!  Ada Leverson and Robbie Ross are two of my most favorite people of all time!  Robbie Ross was such a darling darling darling dear, and Ada Leverson was witty and clever and nice and cool.  I squealed like a little fangirl when I saw the picture of Oscar Wilde’s grave – she even said what it says on the grave, and I love those last two lines, “For his mourners will be outcast men / And outcasts always mourn.”  There were smoochy lip marks all over the photograph of the grave.  I want to visit Oscar Wilde’s grave.  I love Oscar Wilde.  I love him.

(I wrote “I love him” like four more times, and I had to go back and erase them.  I kept thinking of other cool things Oscar Wilde had done, like that time that he fixed that woman who was sad, or that time that Bosie’s wretched father wanted to meet him, and Oscar Wilde charmed the shit out of him BECAUSE HE HAD THE POWER TO DO THAT WITH HIS CHARMINGNESS, or that time, oh my God, that the Christian Scientists thought that mean guy was the Messiah so they wanted to breed little Messiahs.  Oh, Oscar Wilde, you bring happiness to my life.)

For a lot of the trip, Lucy was unhappy and worried – she was twenty-two, and trying to see where her life was going to go.  At one point she said, “I QUIT ART,” which was so funny to me because I am constantly feeling like that.  I will often read a book or a play or something, and be like, OH THIS IS POINTLESS.  I QUIT WRITING FOREVER.  Besides, I am always wondering where my life will go, and I could identify.  I enjoyed her wry remarks about the sights of Paris, and her helpfully labeled drawings.  Plus, I am grateful to her for writing this, because it gave me the idea of going to London with my mother, which I am departing to do in two weeks.

(Two weeks!)

Thanks to A Life in Books for the recommendation!