Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme

genre: memoir, food

read for the Great Book Blogger Swap - THANKS MELISSA!


Can I gush?

This book is fantastic. A gem. As a person who knew nothing about Julia Child, this book was a revelation, her voice and mannerisms shine through so clearly in this story about Julia's journey from girlhood into her full and robust life. The focus of the book, of course, is her time spent in France, where she fell in love with the people, the culture and most importantly, the food. But it's not just the food with Julia. It's the preparation of the food, the time spent buying the ingredients, the care with which you make it and the friends that you eat it with - the whole package, THAT is what Julia loved.

I am inspired by Julia's guts, her can-do attitude and her willingness to work hard at something because she loved it. She's honest, too. Sometimes things were frustrating - she does not gloss over the effort of creating her famous cookbook or pretend that life wasn't really challenging sometimes - and it's that honesty that makes this such a compelling read. I felt like I was IN France half the time, walking through the markets or sitting in a restaurant - the style of writing is very present and realistic. And since her most formative years as a cook happened just post World War II, we also get a lovely picture of what life was like in France during that time, when having heat in your flat was still iffy in Paris and no one owned a television.

Rarely do I finish a non-fiction book and feel sad that there wasn't more, but I did. I had to go to youtube and watch her make an omelette and check out a cookbook from my library, just to keep the experience going. Not that I think I'll be making roasted lamb or bouillabaisse any time soon, but I can see why she had fans all over the world - she's just so human that she makes you believe you can do anything.

6 comments:

Julie @ Read Handed said...

Glad you loved it! You've inspired me to add this to my TBR list.

Melissa said...

And now, you need to make a pilgrimage to her kitchen... it's just at the Smithsonian, so it shouldn't be too hard! Glad you liked it. :-)

heavenisabookstore said...

I really enjoyed this one as well, especially bc I had her voice in my head. Made it that much more real.

bermudaonion said...

My husband (who doesn't read much) loved this book too. I haven't read it yet, but his copy is around here somewhere.

Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

Loved this too...and inspired me to think that her "success" didn't really start until her 40s -- which gives me hope yet that I can do something!!
I want to read the new one about her "spy" years.

Lucy (The Secret Life of Books) said...

I haven't read this book but I did recently watch the movie julie & julia. She is so inspirational. I think I'll have add this book to my ever increasing list of books to read this summer.

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