Kinx's Book Nook: Review: Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Review: Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
Published by First Second
To Be Released on April 14, 2013
185 pages
Graphic Novel/Memoir

Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy trades key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe- many of them treasured family dishes, and a few them Lucy's original inventions.
A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a book for out time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather that an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!! I just started in the graphic novel genre and I have been very fortunate on the choices I've made. First Second posted a picture of the book on Twitter and I wrote to them to see if they would please send me a copy. And they DID! I'm so thrilled that they did!

Lucy Knisley has a wonderful way of telling her life story. Her illustrations are witty and quirky. I warn you your stomach will be growling after reading only a few pages. I loved the recipes at the end of each chapter; especially the sauteed mushrooms. Her most memorable life events are associated with a particular food or meal. Most people have a prominent sense that triggers strong memories. Mine is auditory (songs trigger my memories the most) while Lucy's is taste.

By reading this book, you can tell Lucy's faced some difficult times; including her parents divorce.  However, her pictures and words captured that pain with wit and, of course, food. She even captured her rebellion from her parents in terms of food. It was hilarious when she was on a trip to Italy with her father she bought some greasy McDonald's and ate it in front of him. He was not thrilled!

One of my favorite parts of the book is when Lucy found a job as a cheese-monger in Chicago. Her mother had the same type of job in New York City when she was young. It was a sweet bonding experience between mother and daughter. You can tell she loves and respects her mother so much. Another was her Mexico trip with her friend, Drew. Between Drew buying porn to Lucy starting her first period, I was laughing so hard! 

If you love food, and even if you don't, I would definitely pick this book up. It's full of flavor and texture, just like the food she describes. I promise you won't regret it!


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