Quick Summary: This is a memoir/diary/travelogue of the month Lucy Knisley and her mother spent in Paris. They rented an apartment and spent a month seeing the sights, eating French food, and generally getting to know themselves better. It’s also an early-20s coming of age story. Knisley is an artist and this is actually her journal – drawn and written – from when she was in Paris.
My thoughts: I absolutely adored this book! I thought I might, because Eva didn’t really like it and the two of us seem to have completely opposite tastes. While I was wary going in, the book really won me over. It was hard for me to think of the book as a real diary even though I knew logically that it was. As I read I kept thinking she’d captured the feel of living in France for a month so well, so realistically, and then I’d have to stop and think – Oh yeah, that’s because this is what she experienced! Having lived in France for 6 weeks myself when I was 20 (she was 21 going on 22), there were so many things I recognized and understood. Like when she drew strange things happening in the Metro station. Like all the descriptions of food (oh so yummy!). Like my favorite line from the book, which is my favorite because I had the exact same thought and wrote just about the exact same thing in my own journal from my stay in France:
I insisted we stop for a chocolat chaud at a little café. Gotta love a place that gives you sugar cubes with your hot chocolate.
Yes yes yes!!! I even kept the wrappers of the sugar cubes I got with my breakfast chocolat chaud in Aix, taped into my diary! I kept cracking up all through this book, both from recognizing things and because Knisley is really funny! But not just funny. Poignant, at times. Perfectly capturing the fear of becoming an adult, of transitioning from adolescence into independence. Fear of where you’re going in life. I could just hug this book! It was so good!