Wednesday, May 22, 2013

book review: Relish by Lucy Knisley

The backstory: After adoring French Milk, Lucy Knisley's graphic memoir about traveling to France with her mother in 2004, I was eager to read her newest graphic memoir.

The basics: Relish is a memoir of Knisley's life told through food. As the daughter of foodies, Knisley traces her relationship with food from childhood to today.

My thoughts: Lucy Knisley has a wonderful ability to share the emotions she felt with her readers. It's not simply a matter of her signature art, although her visual aesthetic certainly contributes to it, particularly the way she uses space. At the heart of what I love about her work is her raw honesty. She doesn't hide, and that inhibition draws me right in. Knisley isn't just showing and telling her story, she's inviting her readers to share it.

Relish is obviously perfect for foodies. The images of Knisley tasting her first foie gras at a dinner party as a child and proceeding to ask every grown up at the table if they had any extra brought tears to my eyes. When she visited Alinea, I shared her excitement (and was filled with jealousy.) While I loved the food moments individually, collectively this graphic memoir is much more than simply a life of food. Knisley's journey, which she marks with food, is the real treasure.

The verdict: Relish is a more ambitious graphic memoir than French Milk, and it succeeds on more levels because of it. It's a graphic memoir I'll return to re-read again and again over the years, as I, too, form more new food memories.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Length: 176 pages
Publication date: April 2, 2013
Source: library

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Relish from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle version.)

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  1. This is such a great book! Let's hope that Knisley writes a graphic cookbook. :-)

  2. Love, love, love it! My review will post Saturday for Weekend Cooking. I adored it, too!

    1. I just want her to write more. About anything. And everything.

  3. I loved French Milk and I don't know why I havent read this one yet. Sound wonderful.


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