Review: My Life in France by Julia Child

If you're like me, then your first introduction to the cooking legend that is Julia Child was through the movie Julie and Julia. All I knew about her was collected from my dusty memories of the movie-- something to do with France and cooking and an adorable mariage.

5084Those hazy and incomplete memories prompted me to pick up my first nonfiction book of the year, My Life in France, an almost autobiography of Julia Child. Her grandnephew interviewed her to write the book, drawing on old letters sent across oceans to flesh out her life.

Julia met her husband while working overseas for what would later become the CIA. Her husband Paul kept working for the CIA, which meant that they were at the mercy of government officials, never knowing how long a posting would last, and never knowing what country they would be sent to next. They took it all with good charm and were constantly starting over, in Paris, in Marseille, in Germany, the US-- though of course the country that charmed her the most was France.

I don't read many biographies but this one kept my attention--- it never felt like a chore to pick up, to see what happened next. Julia talks about her life and her cookbook-- almost synonyms, considering the years and years of labor and cooking and experimenting and tasting that went into the behemoth.

Interspersed in the text are dozens of photographs that Paul took-- he was a skilled ameratur photographer. I loved seeing the black and white windows into their lives, be it the market or the many Valentines cards they designed.

Overall I highly recommend this book to anyone with a passing interest in Julia Child or French cooking! What I really want to do now is go back and rewatch Julie and Julia, to see what they left out, to see how they imagined Julia's life.

Even though this is a book blog and not a cooking blog I feel obligated to end with Julia Child's signature ending--

Bon appetit! 

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