MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of My Life in France by Julia Child

My Life in France

by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme

My Life in France by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme X
My Life in France by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2006, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2007, 368 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The story of Child's growth from a naive newleywed into a great cook and one of the best and most influential teachers of the twentieth century.

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 honesty.

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.

Le voici. Et bon appétit!

Foreword

In August 2004, Julia Child and I sat in her small, lush garden in Montecito, California, talking about her life. She was thin and a bit stooped, but more vigorous than she'd been in weeks. We were in the midst of writing this book together. When I asked her what she remembered about Paris in the 1950s, she recalled that she had learned to cook everything from snails to wild boar at the Cordon Bleu; that marketing in France had taught her the value of "les human relations"; she lamented that in her day the American housewife had to juggle cooking the soup and boiling the diapers—adding, "if she mixed the two together, imagine what a lovely combination that would make!"

The idea for My Life in France had been gestating since 1969, when her husband, Paul, sifted through hundreds of letters that he and Julia had written his twin brother, Charles Child (my grandfather), from France in 1948–1954. Paul suggested ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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...continued

Full Review (428 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

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.

Publisher's Weekly
This is a valuable record of gorgeous meals in bygone Parisian restaurants, and the secret arts of a culinary genius.

Kirkus Reviews
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.

Reader Reviews

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, wonderful...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Alex Prud'Homme

If you liked My Life in France, try these:

  • The Seine jacket

    The Seine

    by Elaine Sciolino

    Published 2020

    About this book

    A vibrant, enchanting tour of the Seine from longtime New York Times foreign correspondent and best-selling author Elaine Sciolino.

  • The Paris Wife jacket

    The Paris Wife

    by Paula McLain

    Published 2012

    About this book

    More books by this author

    A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Cantoras
    by Carolina De Robertis
    Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis follows five characters who share a house, troubles, joys and parts...
  • Book Jacket: Daughters Of Smoke & Fire
    Daughters Of Smoke & Fire
    by Ava Homa
    Ava Homa's debut novel begins with an epigraph by Sherko Bekas, a Kurdish poet, the last lines of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of V.
    The Book of V.
    by Anna Solomon
    In ancient Persia, Esther, a young Jewish woman, parades herself in front of the king in a desperate...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Girl
    by Dirk Wittenborn

    A riveting tale of deception, vengeance, and power set against the haunting beauty of the Adirondacks.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Train to Key West
    by Chanel Cleeton

    Romance and danger are locked into Cleeton's suitcase for this journey to 1935 Key West.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Of Bears and Ballots

An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics

A charming account of holding local office with an entertaining, quirky cast of characters.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S Louder T W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

 



© BookBrowse LLC 1997-2020. All rights reserved. Information at BookBrowse.com is published with the permission of the copyright holder or their agent.
It is forbidden to copy anything for publication elsewhere without written permission from the copyright holder.