I recently found myself at the library with a hole in my TBR list. Although I have plenty of books at home I’ve not read, I decided to browse the shelves in the memoir section. After looking through several shelves, I saw Julia Child and knew without a doubt that that’s the memoir I wanted to read.
When I was growing up, I was around Julia Child a lot. My mom watched all the PBS cooking shows both on weekdays and weekends, so any time I was home from school sick or hanging out on a Saturday morning, Julia Child would be in the rotation. I loved her – she was hilarious! Plus, her cooking was impressive.
My Life in France was written by Child’s great nephew, Alex Prud’homme. When Child was in her 90’s, he sat down with her to listen to her life’s story, so that he could write this book. At first, I wondered if that would be odd, considering it’s written from Child’s perspective. However, it ended up being so well done, it really did sound and feel like Julia Child was speaking it. She had the best exclamations, and there are a bunch of them sprinkled throughout this book – they made me giggle.
The book explains how Child fell in love with food when she and her husband moved to France, because it was just so good. It was so much more thought out and finessed than American food was, and her love affair with it is just delightful to read. The way she describes the tastes and smells had me wishing I could be right there in France along with her, tasting that fish with the perfect buttery sauce.
You learn all about the process of learning to cook for her, in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu. She didn’t grow up knowing how to cook, she just learned it all! I hadn’t known that. The book also goes through the years-long process of writing her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
I gobbled this book up! If you enjoyed watching Child on TV or the movie Julie & Julia or you just love the romanticism of cooking and French cuisine, you’ll love this one. Five stars.
This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun! – Julia Child
I remember picking this up after reading Julie & Julia and loving it just as much! If you’re into foodie memoirs, check out Ruth Reichl. Garlic & Sapphires chronicles her time as a New York Times restaurant critic. Her novel, Delicious!, is also a really fun read.