Title: My Life in France
Author: Julia Child
Publish Date: April 4, 2006
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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 a cook and teacher and
writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American
personalities of the last fifty years."
My Two Cents:
"My Life in France" is the
story Julia Child's and her husband's life in post World War II France.
Julia Child's husband, Paul, is a part of the Foreign Service for the
United States meaning that much of their life was spent abroad. The
years in France are idyllic. Julia falls in love with the food and the
people even as she struggles mightily with the language. This book shows
how she goes from a woman who dreads cooking to someone who begins to
breathe and dream of cooking wonderful food and making those recipes
accessible to all.
I was drawn to this book for a few reasons.
First off, post World War II Europe seems like a really fascinating time
to be in the Foreign Service. Europe was still very much rebuilding and
France's government in particular was still trying to figure things
out. The instability (which I had really forgotten was happening) was
very interesting to read about in comparison to what Child thought about
the situation in America with things like the "Red Scare." It was
interesting to see what the Foreign Service was going through in the
late 1940s and the 1950s. Some of the cuts seemed not unlike what could
happen now in the current political climate.
Another reason I
was drawn to the book was of course Julia's cooking. I had vaguely
remembered that she didn't really start cooking until later on in life
(gives me all sorts of hope). I thought it was really interesting to see
all that she went through with her partners to not only develop her
cookbook but to publish it. I got a kick out of how secretive Child was
about some of her recipes. It was also interesting that with as popular
as her cookbook has now become that it had a hard time getting
This was a great memoir with interest at many
different levels. Packed with Child's signature warmth and charm, this
was a good read!