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Paperback My Life in France Book

ISBN: 0307277690

ISBN13: 9780307277695

My Life in France

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The bestselling story of Julia's years in France--and the basis for Julie & Julia , starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams--in her own words. Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef , Julia Child was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Charming Memoir of Vintage France

This is a charming book, where Julia Child talks in detail about her years in Paris and France just after the Second World War. Julia completely fell in love with France and with French food and the way of life there. The relationship between Julia and her husband Paul is also lovely to read about, as they completely adored each other. Julia's passion for life, her energy, her sense of humour, modesty and intelligence shine through every page. This is accompanied by a complete lack of self-pity eg where she mentions their inability to have children. She describes in detail her first encounter with French food, her experiences studying at Le Cordon Bleu, learning to speak French, setting up her own cooking school and writing her first cookbook. There were many trials and tribulations in the years of research, testing of the recipes, collaborating with the other authors and getting the book accepted for publication. Julia was like the original Alton Brown or 'Cook's Illustrated'. Of the three authors, one of whom contributed very little, it was Julia who was constantly tinkering with the recipes in order to find the best result. Spend a month experimenting with the best way to boil an egg? No problem. She was fascinated by kitchen science, which was in its infancy in those days. Julia also describes eating at restaurants all over France and she remembers many of the menus in detail, as well as the vintage of wines they drank and how the individual dishes were prepared. She talks about shopping for ingredients in the marketplace and some of the unusual kitchen gadgets she picked up in Paris, which later appeared on the set of her TV shows. So many things were done differently in those days - you put your milk bottles on the window sill to keep cool because most Parisians didn't have a refrigerator, and just about everything in the professional kitchen was still done by hand in the old manner. It was a different culinary world and I am pleased that some of this history has been preserved in this book. The book has a lot of general historical interest too - when they arrived there was rationing and there were hardly any cars in Paris. They walked all over the city, routes that you just could not do on foot these days. Her husband was a photographer/artist and there are some interesting B & W photos of Paris & the French countryside included in the book. They also had a house in Provence long before the influx of tourism changed and spoiled the area. She and her husband met many influential and eccentric people. The book was a collaboration between Julia and her husband's twin brother's grandson, who is an author in his own right. I thought it was very enjoyable and interesting. Is this a great work of literature? No, and to be honest, few biographies are. But this book does what it set out to do very well. It is pleasant and easy to read and the story it tells is very interesting. I would recommend it for people with an int

Dinner party conversations with Julia

One of Julia Child's most compelling attributes was her ability to share her knowledge without ever being intimidating. She gave you the sense that she was as accessible and friendly as your neighbor next door, although infinitely more interesting. Of course, that "neighbor" only talked about food and recipes, and you didn't get to know her very well. This book shows how charming -- and human -- Julia Child really was (petty irritations and all). Mostly, it's like having Julia over to your house for a wonderful dinner party, in which she tells wonderful stories about her time in France. Obviously, food is a large part of that, but there are entertaining anecdotes about everything from being adopted by a cat to their worries about Paul's career to their move to Marseilles. Because the family kept all of Paul and Julia's letters home, the detail is as fresh and fun as when it first happened. The book is entertaining and fun, with the added inspiration of watching a woman grow from "I could barely cook" to the legend we all admired. Recommended.

Delicious read

With every word I sensed I was there. I could smell the air, feel the cold and want a blanket. I lusted to be able to taste the foods she talked about. I laughed when she described her first attempts at food preparation. I loved that she was pragmatic and yet extravagant about cooking utinsels. Her husband was very encouraging of her endeavors. Together they shared a life and a love, but it was more, they shared a passion for travel and the tastes of other cultures. My mouth salivated as she toured the markets. Her French was horrible by her own admission but her genuine interest in the culture won out with shop owners. It is a delicious read.

Bon Vivant!

This book is just brimming with life, just as Julie Child did during her years in France. This book has inspired me to retrace Julia's steps through France (in 2007), approach the kitchen with more energy, and adopt a more serene approach to life in general...this book is just outstanding. I read it in 7 hours, straight through, and after lending it to those to whom I have promised it, I shall read it again...Bravo Julia for sharing your life in France with us, and Bravo Alex for seeing to it that it was published. What an amazing life, what an amazing person.

A Moveable Feast

This, hands down, is one of the best reads of the year. We took it with us on vacation last month & my wife and I competed over reading rights whenever the kids were otherwise occupied. It's beautifully told and as compelling as a great mystery that you know has a happy ending. It will remind you of your honeymoon in France (even if you went somewhere else) and inspire you to go again. And when you finish, you'll want to find a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and keep going....

My Life in France Mentions in Our Blog

Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • May 29, 2019

Travel has been the subject of many a great book. Here are a few that we've loved.

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