M.J. Fiori's Reviews > My Life in France

My Life in France by Julia Child
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's review
Jun 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, actually-reviewed, surprisingly-delightful, history
Read from June 25 to 29, 2010

This was a charming book. Having grown up in the era of SNL's Julia Child parody (cheerful bumbler with sing-songy nasal voice who has cut off her own finger but soldiers on with the sauce) and the very tail end of "The French Cook" on PBS (which I watched with my mom), I had no true appreciation for what Julia accomplished with her landmark Masting the Art of French Cooking. Or, more importantly, for who this intelligent, totally engaging, totally engaged woman really was: gourmande/gourmet, adventurer and joie-de-vivrist.

Full disclosure: I am not a person who ever reads cookbooks, travel books, jaunty memoirs or who even cooks from scratch that much. (But voila, how that has changed since reading this book! Now I also own Masting the Art and have roasted one lovely, stuffed 4-lb-chicken amidst copious basting. I bought a fryer and made fish and chips {OK, this has nothing to do with French cuisine, but still ...} And I have grand plans to make Julia's famous Boeuf Bourgignon very, very soon. Maybe tomorrow!)

AND I'm a vegetarian, which is, I think, completely antithetical to anything vaguely French or Frenchified.

But no matter. My point is, if you love France or French food even a little bit; or if you just love food; or if you love the unexpected paths life can take (following culture-embracing American liberals in Europe, in the 1950's and 1960s, as McCarthyism raged on at home in the States); or if you love reading one individual's story of stumbling into her fate and loving nearly every minute of it ... well, if you love any of these, this book is for you. A sweetly inspiring book in a very charming style.

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