- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Knopf (4 April 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400043468
- ISBN-13: 978-1400043460
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 2.5 x 24.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,80,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Life in France Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Import
Hardcover, Deckle Edge, Import
Mass Market Paperback, Import
Special deckle edge formatThis book has a deckle edge format with distinctive, feathery edge papers. The deckle edge adds a decorative, textured edging to the book.
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Knowing little about the country and less about its cooking, Child sailed to France with her new husband in 1948. Her first meal after debarking, a simple sauteed sole, opened to her (and to posterity) a new world. She began her French sojourn as the underemployed and ever-curious wife of a diplomatic officer, frustrated at being unable even to speak the language. Language classes led to cooking classes, then to partnering with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle in an American book contract. Child's devotees know the basics of this story, but the details reveal the gradual education of Child's palate, her anti-McCarthy politics, her intense love for her husband, and her boundless capacity for hard work. Although Child died before this memoir compiled from her papers reached completion, her grandnephew Prud'homme proves a worthy editor. In seamlessly flowing prose, the text follows Child's growth as a cook into one of the best and most influential teachers of the twentieth century. Like Child herself, this memoir is earnest but never pedantic. Her eye for the ironic, her sense of humor, and her sharp sensitivity to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and colors that surround her make lucid, lively reading. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“Exuberant, affectionate, and boundlessly charming . . . It chronicles, in mouth-watering detail, the meals and the food markets the sparked her interest in French cooking . . . It also tells the story of the inspired partnership between Child . . . and her husband, Paul . . . Every day in France brought a thrilling new discovery, but Child’s capacity for wonder and delight co-existed with ‘show me’ skepticism . . . It is a wonderful picture of the most successful American export to France since Benjamin Franklin.”
–William Grimes, The New York Times
“In mouth-watering detail, her learning years in Paris and the stellar career that followed.”
–Meeta Agrawal, Life Magazine
“Captures her charm, warmth, and, above all, her determined and robust spirit . . . Anyone who has heard her on television will immediately recognize the frank, jovial, and embracing tone.”
–John Skoyles, The Seattle Times/Associated Press
“What a joy . . . charming . . . inspiring.”
–Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly
“Like a surprise nougat bursting from the center of a chocolate truffle, My Life in France also serves up her moving romance with the Renaissance man of her life . . . her husband, Paul Child.”–Andrew Marton, The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Top customer reviews
Actual writing aside, one is left at the end with a vast respect for the life that Child led. Her experiences were varied, her energy and patience immense and yet she never seemed to succumb to the egotism so common in the accomplished. She acknowledged that her chosen topic was a complex one but she pursued it with a vigor and exactitude that made it accessible to the common housewife of the time. Unlike her predecessors she took the time to make sure that the recipes in her book were not only detailed enough to be executed by the uninitiated but also didn't include those ingredients that couldn't be obtained outside of France. Her legend as the bridge between French cooking and America seems well earned.
Overall, I'd grant the book a few stars out of five but it would be much more entertaining to someone who had more of a connection either with cooking or with French culture. It is fairly hard to dive mind-first into a book that requires so much of it to be explicitly ignored.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It could more aptly be named My Love of France or My love of French Food.
Julia married Paul Child after they met while both working for the OSS in WWII. They lived in France while Paul was assigned to the embassy there. Julia knew little of French culture but immediately fell in love with it's cuisine. Julia tries to keep herself busy, taking French lessons, but ultimately decides she wants to learn to cook at the famed Cordon Bleu. She throws her self into cooking with the same gusto that she eats. This leads her to Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, her cookbook co- conspirators.
The first half or so of the book focuses mainly on her time in France but continues through to her and Paul's other diplomatic posts and eventual return to the US.
my review: This was quite interesting, Julia Child is an amazing woman and accomplished so much in her lifetime. She threw herself fully into every project, whether it be the Cordon Bleu, her cookbooks, her show The French Chef.
This is a woman who truly loved French food and cooking and really wanted Americans to be able to cook such cuisine at home without sacrificing the true experience of enjoyment.
Julia and Paul seem to be such a perfect couple, both so supportive of each other. I don't think Julia could have so accomplished so much with out his support and devotion and very creative ideas.
I enjoyed reading about Julia's life and all of the delicious food that she describes throughout. I would not read this on an empty stomach!
But there is more than food in this book; she discusses the political climate of the US, McCarthy's reign. Paul is even called back to the US to be questioned about potential communist ties and what kinds of books he reads.
Paul and Julia travel quite a bit but France remains their true second home. They build a cottage there and visit several times a year.
Julia Child is not a sentimental woman, but she is passionate, opinionated, loyal, and driven to excellence.
my rating 4.5/5
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