My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme
I picked this book up on a whim – I love biographies, but I tend to shy away from celebrity biographies. Julia Child was a celebrity, but I decided to give this book a chance because, in a way, she got her start as a writer before becoming famous. And I am so glad that I tried the book – it’s a delightful account of her years in France, written by Child and her grand-nephew in the last few years of her life.
Because the book is based in large part on the letters that Julia and her husband Paul wrote to friends and family, it retains a contemporary feel and minimizes the retrospective analysis some biographies or memoirs have. I loved Child’s account of her first meal in France – how eye-opening it was and how it led to her eventual status as an American cooking icon.
I always love behind-the-scenes details, and the stories about what all went into the publication of her masterpiece “Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1” are fascinating. The years of work, the struggles with her coauthors, the difficulties in finding a publisher – even though I know that eventually it is published to wide acclaim, I still found myself wondering how on earth she stuck with it and persevered.
The joy and exuberance with which Child approaches life is infectious, and her love for her husband is heart-warming. Overall it is such a wonderful read: light, amusing, and fun. I highly recommend it.
Julia Child single-handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn’t know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.
Indeed, when she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia’s unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.
Title: My Life in France
Author: Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme
Category: Nonfiction / Biography
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
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