My Life in France

My Life in France

4.2 311
by Julia Child
     
 

ISBN-10: 0307475018

ISBN-13: 2900307475014

Pub. Date: 06/23/2009

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Indeed, when she first arrived in France 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

…  See more details below

Overview

Indeed, when she first arrived in France 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900307475014
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/23/2009
Edition description:
NE
Pages:
432

Table of Contents

Foreword Alex Prud'homme ix

Introduction 3

Part I

1 La Belle France 11

2 Le Cordon Bleu 61

3 Three Hearty Eaters 113

4 Bouillabaisse á la Marseillaise 166

Part II

5 French Recipes for American Cooks 209

6 Mastering the Art 242

7 Son of Mastering 274

8 The French Chef in France 301

9 From Julia Child's Kitchen 317

Epilogue Fin 329

Index 335

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

My Life in France 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 311 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a darling book! The sweetness and humility with which the amazing Julia describes her intense and fascinating way of going after the knowledge of French cooking contains lessons for everybody-and not just about cooking. The loving descriptions of the French sights, food and people had my soul yearning to see them first hand. I love this book. I'm buying copies of this for my food loving relatives. I plan to read this book again and again and wish my life could have half the joy and purpose with which Julia lived hers.
20MAKAYLA11 More than 1 year ago
This beautifully written and completely charming memoir captures Julia's unique and genuine personality. This is one of the most delightful, happy books I've ever read! Julia admits complete ignorance at the beginning of her story, which attests to her most unusual gift for blending self-deprecation with charming self-confidence, and it is her natural curiosity that led her to collaborate with master chefs, true to her non-condescending and bubbly personality. There is a heavenly breathless spirit about this book that captures her earthiness and integrity and complete emotional fulfillment that is absolutely contagious. This is the most beautiful love story between kindred spirits. Her husband, Paul, who clearly shines throughout, worked for the US State Department, and it was he who encouraged Julia's exploration and interest in fine cuisine and his transfer to Paris began her legacy. What a wonderful marriage they must have had! They shared an extraordinary life of love and passion, not only for each other but for travel and the tastes to explore other cultures. Her colorful and bright and cheery account of her 1940's life-changing stay in France is one of the most cherished, enjoyable and interesting books I've had the pleasure of reading. I wanted to sing. This book is a great biography, as well as a historical account of a nation, as instruction of the refined culinary arts, and it works well as the travelogue that evokes the locations being described. My senses were titillated; I could smell the baking bread, lavender fields, leg of lamb cooking in sumptuous herbs; I could taste the magnificent, succulent dishes; I could see the lush countryside, the cobblestone roads and streets. The laughter, the wit, the union, their lives together had to be Heaven on earth. This is beautifully told, brimming with life, just as Julie Child lived during her years in France, and as compelling as a great novel that you know has a happy ending. Because the family kept all of Paul and Julia's letters home, primarily Paul's twin brother, Charlie and his wife, the detail is as fresh and fun as when it first happened. Julia oozed "joie de vivre", loved a new adventure and took life on with an incredibly open mind. She seized opportunity with great zest and had the confidence that she could achieve her goal. She was real and fun and didn't take things too seriously. One of Julia Child's most compelling attributes was her ability to share her knowledge without being intimidating. She gave you the sense that she was as accessible and as friendly as if she'd known you all her life, although infinitely more interesting. She truly cared about people, all people. With class, charm, enormous magnetism, and great determination this remarkable woman had turned French cooking into an American fascination. This is not a book about food; this is a book about life, full of passion and love and wisdom, beauty, art and creation. You can learn a lot from a life like that. This should be on everyone's reading list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We all have a version of Julia Child in our head and it is likely one that stems from fondness. This book only makes you love her more. She has such a joie de vivre as she finds herself and creates a beautiful life with a wonderful husband and very charming and interesting family and friends. She's also honest about the things that may not have gone so well. But you always get the feeling that Ms. Child looked at all her experiences - good and bad - as part of a remarkable journey and that she loved the people who accompanied her along the way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a cook nor particularly interested in cooking. However, on the recommendation of a friend, several years ago I read the fine biography of Julia Child, "Appetite for Life," and was bowled over - by Child's fascinating story, her spirit, her enthusiasim - in short, I found her story of finding her passion in mid-life to be inspiring (and fun). Thus I had high hopes for "My Life in France" - and treasured every page. Since so much of the text relies on the letters of Paul and Julia Child, their personalities come through clearly (the first-person narration in Julia's point of view helps us remember her distinctive voice). I've recommended or given this book to at least five people in the last month. This is a fun read, but also a lesson in how to live a full life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For Christmas I got my elderly mother both "My life in France" and "Julie Julia". Mom is an avid reader and loves to cook. I knew they would be a big hit. She read the book first and said it was illuminating about post war Paris and Julia Child's life. The only negative was that she thought it was much better than the film. Higly recommended as a gift for the over 80 crowd!
blueloon More than 1 year ago
For those who grew up knowing Julia Child as the lady on PBS and the subject of many parodies, this book provides a much more well-rounded picture of the forces that created the unique individual that she was. It's a much more enjoyable read than the whiny "Julie and Julia," which contained only snippets of the life of Julia Child.
ClaireBray More than 1 year ago
Julia Child tells the story of her adventures in France and her journey to be a chef and a cookbook writer. She captures the flavor of Paris in the postwar period from the perspective of an American willing to embrace another culture. She describes her cooking lessons and fabulous meals so clearly that you spend your reading time hungry. Her wonderful personality comes through every anecdote. You can almost hear that inimitable voice telling these stories. Her husband's nephew, Paul Prud'homme, did a wonderful job putting this together after her death. I regret that she was not there to do the tape version. I only wish this were a longer book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You will devour this book in no time and hunger for more. You will learn in this book that Julia Child tested all her recipes 10 to 15 times in volume 2 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You will learn she spent 2 years working on the recipe for baquette and used 284lbs of AP flour. You will appreciate her kindness and humanity. This book will make you want to reread Mastering vol. 1 & 2 all over again and watch all her TV shows. It will also make you very sad as this is her last book.
L.A.Carlson-writer More than 1 year ago
Child would certainly say her life was a wonderful journey with her partner, Paul. This book tells us their story and reveals a more intimate side of both of them. Julia worked for what would become the CIA and Paul worked for another branch of the government. But is was the French food and cooking that was to become her mantra for wonderful cooking. This was one of my favorite memoirs to read! It's the story of finding yourself much later on in life and loving it!
ja24 More than 1 year ago
I actually bought this book to accompany the audio version that I also purchased at Barnes & Noble. I was riveted and delighted for hours and wanted the book so the next time I listened to CDs I could get even further in.
DesertDiva More than 1 year ago
Fun, easy to read, enlightening.
AMWOLF More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Julia Child had such an exciting life. Through her words and imagery you could feel her passion and zest for food and life. She was an adventurous and amazing woman.
JacquelineBurden More than 1 year ago
Julie Child, a beloved icon of the American culinery scene, took me by surprise with this memoire. A gifted writer, as well as chef, she transports the reader to France half a century ago. I used "My Life in France" as dessert, savoring a few pages every night before going to sleep. Wish there was a sequel!
Cambrialover More than 1 year ago
What a treasure Julia Child is to the culinary world. This absorbing account of an amazing life is a fun read with many surprises. Julia Child inspires so many adjectives: humble, quirky, dedicated to her craft, trail-blazing, hungry, appreciative of life, food, friendship...and so much more. I loved that her character and sophistication (she seems somewhat rough around the edges)were preserved by her co-author. Her phrases, like "cook bookery" are all her own and lend much to the narrative.
Fisch More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful account of a wonderful womans life. Julia Child embodies what every American should be in a a foreign country. She embraced and absolutely loved the French culture, and made it her own. Being Americans in a foreign country could be difficult, but the Child's "became French." Her experience of attempting to learn to French cook in France was encouraging. What a lovely couple too. What good friends, and absolutely endearing people. We can learn much from this story of a womans desire to become very good at something that wasn't popular at her time. I applaud her and her stick-to-it-ness. A wonderful read.
Squarestatereader More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and hated when it came to an end. Her grand nephew did her justice and I am so glad I accidentally bought the version with her husband Paul's photographs. How many notes they must have kept! I loved that she could remember her first meal in France down to the wines. It was fun realizing that we may have shopped in the same shops on Rue Cler since their apartment in France was in the arrondissement (the 7th) that we have stayed in Paris. She was a late bloomer who married rather late for her generation to a very good match for her. She learned cooking because she enjoyed eating as simple and as complicated as that. I enjoyed the book enough to buy copies as Christmas gifts for my sisters.
RitzAK More than 1 year ago
I could hardly put it down. It was facinating to read about life in Europe post WWII. Julia wrote like she spoke. I have a deeper appreciation for the amount of research and refining she poured into her recipes. It was inspirational to see how God used every person and incident in her life to weave the gift in her that would be given to the world, and what it took to get a book published. Having lived in and also fallen in love with La Belle France also (back in the 70's), and sharing a love for food and recipes that are well thought out and written, I hated for it to end. Well done.
kathib More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down, and as I neared the end of it I actually mourned her death for the first time. I love to cook, and enjoyed watching Julia on TV for years. It seems she was always around and would be forever. Her death seemed premature, even though she was past 90! After reading this book, I came to realize how much I liked her as a person and how sad the realization that I would never meet her. I rarely re-read a book, but this is one I shall visit again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up watching Julia Child. I enjoyed learning how she became the great chief she is. The book was well written and gave me a good in site of the type of person Julia was in her private life. Much better than Julie and Julia.
Laurie3160 More than 1 year ago
Outstanding biography about a woman who enjoyed life without apologizing for imperfections! A deeply personal look at Child's life and what made her who she was. A written master piece full of emotion, passion, and laughter.
Nickf126 More than 1 year ago
As a very young child I remember watching Julia Child on public TV. I loved her, and I have had a life long respect for her as a chef and as a person. This book made me fall in love with France, Julia and her husband Paul. I think that the anecdotal quality of the writing is very fitting for this type of book. I think that everyone, even people who are not cooks will love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a late in life foodie and wine lover, I only wish I had paid closer attention to Julia Child when she was alive. This book captures her personal spirit and her undying devotion to proper cooking. If there is one thing to get from this book, let it be that anyone can cook.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My Life in France gives the reader a glimpse into the extraordinary and elegant life of Julia Child. The memoir adds another dimension to Julia the TV persona and looks beyond the lighthearted image. Indeed, beyond Julia's fun spirit was an unbelievable level of meticulous research and above all, fearlessness and stamina. My Life in France is a delight to read for anyone who wishes to understand the origin of Julia's passion for French cooking and her ability to transform one's vision of and taste for fine food.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Julia's life story is not only amazing, it's also adventurous and romantic. Julia and his nephew worked together wonderfully to show how much fun she had living in France. Plus the pictures in this book will take you to a very nostalgic time, when Julia's career was blooming to the highest peak!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I simply am not a cook in the catagory of Julia Child. I was astounded reading about her tireless efforts to understand the science of the recipe and about her appreciation for the taste of food and wine. I adored reading about the relationship with her husband and France. It was a truly profound relationship. I hardily recommend this book because it is warm, inviting, and eye opening.