Melina Maresca's Reviews > Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

Dearie by Bob Spitz
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's review
Aug 01, 2012

really liked it

LATE BLOOMERS REJOICE! I loved this book but to be fair I'm not sure if it was the actual writing or the subject. Before reading this book, I knew nothing about Julia Child. I only remember my mother watching her on TV in the 80s. (I never read Julie & Julia or saw the movie.) The story of her life really moved me. At age 34- roughly- she was single, with a mediocre college record, no marriage prospects, no career- just a lanky 6 foot 2 inch (!!!!) woman who couldn't boil an egg. Her friends were all married with children and/or enjoying exciting jobs while she floated around never finding anything satisfying. But here's the rub-- for no apparent reason (meaning her life up to this point was totally average and at times slightly depressing) she believed she was destined for greatness. And that motivation was so intense it seems she could never have been anything but great. She met her husband, followed him to France, and more importantly followed him to a French restaurant one night where she fell in love with French cooking. This began her many decades of INSANE work ethic, persistence, self-confidence, humor, optimism, and an enjoyment of life that was staggering. My only reservation about the book, and why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars, is that it's very detailed. But it was so refreshing to read about this woman's life that I didn't mind all the nitty-gritty. She devoted herself to French cooking at a time when the field was reserved only for men, when she didn't know anything about cooking and knew no French. But nothing daunted her. Her's really was a "remarkable" life but only because she was a remarkable woman who had a confluence of positive personality traits that very few people have. An amazing study of human greatness.

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