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Archive for February, 2010

This book, “My Life in France”, has as its heroine a woman who embodies the essence of “joie de vivre”.  The story begins with the marriage of Julia McWilliams to Paul Child and there subsequent move to Paris for Paul’s job with the American government.  Although already in her 30’s and a seasoned traveler after working in Ceylon for the US government, her arrival in France is portrayed as though through the eyes of a complete innocent.  Each detail of her first meal in France is outlined lovingly and delectably, as though she had just finished eating it.  There is a glorious use of description in this book, most especially when describing the food and the cooking techniques.  France was a spiritual home to Julia, as she herself states, although she remained firmly tuned in to her American audiences throughout the cooking career she began to carve out for herself while in France.  What shines through so clearly in this book is Julia and Paul’s love of France, the French people, French food, and the French way of life.  It also needs to be said that the love and support that Julia and Paul had and provided one another is moving and inspiring.  These two were made for each other!

The process of compiling the recipes for her tome, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, was fascinating, if exhausting.  Collaborating with two dear French friends, the work was tedious, time-consuming and seemed to be totally fulfilling, at least for Julia.  The peek inside the process of actually writing a cookbook is very interesting, but it surely makes the rest of realize that this is not something that just anyone can do.  No matter how much one might enjoy cooking.  Julia Child, it seems, needed to cook in the same way that she needed to eat.  She did both voraciously, passionately and joyfully.

This is a very friendly and easy book to read and great fun for anyone who remembers seeing episodes of The French Chef, or any of the other appearances Julia made on TV throughout her prolific career.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookmarks.

Reviewed by:         Anna

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