In her own words, here is the captivating story of Julia Child's
years in France, where she fell in love with French food and
found 'her true calling.'
From the moment the ship docked in Le Havre in the fall of 1948
and Julia watched the well-muscled stevedores unloading the
cargo to the first perfectly soigné meal that she and her
husband, Paul, savored in Rouen en route to Paris, where he was
to work for the USIS, Julia had an awakening that changed her
life. Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California,
who didn't speak a word of French and knew nothing about the
country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in
the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu.
After managing to get her degree despite the machinations of the
disagreeable directrice of the school, Julia started
teaching cooking classes herself, then teamed up with two fellow
gourmettes, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to help
them with a book they were trying to write on French cooking for
Americans. Throwing herself heart and soul into making it a
unique and thorough teaching book, only to suffer several rounds
of painful rejection, is part of the behind-the-scenes drama
that Julia reveals with her inimitable gusto and disarming
Filled with the beautiful black-and-white photographs that Paul
loved to take when he was not battling bureaucrats, as well as
family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories
about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Above
all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer
love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow
Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.
Reading the memoir of this feisty "rather loud and unserious" six-foot-two Californian is a huge pleasure, and the photographs of France and the French, mostly taken by her husband, are exceptional. It's so easy to assume that success comes to famous people easily, but this impression is quickly corrected when reading of the extraordinary efforts she went through for nine years, before Mastering the Art of French Cooking was eventually published in 1961, when she was about 49 years old. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
New York Times - Alan Riding
Read no further if you dislike France, consider the French irritating, find French cooking pretentious and the French art de vivre overrated — because Julia Child liked everything about France. And her memoir, My Life in France, is an affectionate merci for all that France gave her.
This is a valuable record of gorgeous meals in bygone Parisian restaurants, and the secret arts of a culinary genius.
Charming, idiosyncratic and much fun-just like its author, who is very much alive in these pages.
Booklist - Mark Knoblauch
Her eye for the ironic, her sense of humor, and her sharp sensitivity to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and colors that surround her make lucid, lively reading.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by MJH MY LIFE IN FRANCE First I thought this would
be a nice book to glance
through. I soon discovered
I could not miss a word.
Julia Child's personality
came through on every page.
She was not just a
talented gourmet chef but
a delightful,... Read More
Julia Child was
and worked for
the OSS during
World War II in
China, where she
met Paul Child.
lived in Paris,
studied at the
Cordon Bleu and
with Simone Beck
whom she wrote
the first volume
the Art of
The French Chef
made her a...
Blood, Bones & Butter is an unflinching and lyrical work. Gabrielle Hamilton's story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humor, and passion. By turns epic and intimate, it marks the debut of a tremendous literary talent.
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