By: Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme
ISBN - 1-4000-4346-8
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf, New York
302 pages
79 photographs to enjoy

In her own words, Julia Child gives detailed stories from her long, adventurous life. It is a story of love; love with France and its culture, love with food, cookery, and “cook bookery,” love with her friends, but most of all, love with her husband, Paul. From the beginning of the book, I was most struck by the sweet, respectful, romantic relationship of dear Julia and Paul. It is my opinion that her gregarious personality and limitless generosity of spirit and friendship was due in large part to her marriage. The security and dignity that came from being loved well by a good man freed her up to fully be herself.

The title is a bit of a misnomer. Certainly the weight of the book is devoted to her experiences and impressions from her years in France (full-time and part-time), but like the perfect appetizer and a delicious dessert complete a wonderful meal, the stories from her life before and after her time in France round out the story to a very satisfying read. For a private person, Child courageously shared personal reflections, and for a woman in her nineties, they are shared with surprising detail. From the funny antics of the housekeeper, Jeanne, to the personality of the cat, Minette, I feel I am a voyeur into Child’s world of marketing, entertaining, tasting and recipe-testing. It is a beautiful world.

Clearly, Julia Child loved food. The details of her meals, dishes, recipes, cooking methods, etc. may become a bit tiresome for someone who does not share her zeal for all things edible, but it is a worthy read for anyone – especially women. I was so inspired and took away several principles from reading this remarkable woman’s life story. Real-life stories always amaze me because I can always see God at work in their lives. A seeming coincidence, a briefly-considered choice, an ill-timed challenge, or heart-breaking adversity all work together to unfold a magnificent tale from a master Storyteller. And so it is in Julia’s story.

Sadly, she died before the book was completed, but the tone and cadence is unbroken. Prud’homme carried on seamlessly. I recommend this book to anyone – foodies, readers of biographies, Julia fans, lovers of France, and anyone who loves an adventurous love story. My Life In France is a book to be devoured. Bon app├ętit!

Reviewed by The Page Turner

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting look into Julia Child's life, as I only looked at her as a chef on TV. Worth picking up and reading about the whole Julia Child's. Thank you.