From the moment the ship docked in Le Havre in the fall of 1948 and Julia watched the well-muscled stevedores unloading the cargo to the first perfectly soigné meal that she and her husband, Paul, savored in Rouen en route to Paris, where he was to work for the USIS, Julia had an awakening that changed her life. Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California, who didn’t speak a word of French and knew nothing about the country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu.
After managing to get her degree despite the machinations of the disagreeable directrice of the school, Julia started teaching cooking classes herself, then teamed up with two fellow gourmettes, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to help them with a book they were trying to write on French cooking for Americans. Throwing herself heart and soul into making it a unique and thorough teaching book, only to suffer several rounds of painful rejection, is part of the behind-the-scenes drama that Julia reveals with her inimitable gusto and disarming honesty.
Filled with the beautiful black-and-white photographs that Paul loved to take when he was not battling bureaucrats, as well as family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.
Le voici. Et bon appétit!
This book is read as a part of
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My views: Well, this was huge book. It took me almost a month to read it. I had made so many notes on my Kindle App. But sadly, my app refuses to work, so all my notes are gone.
This is a wonderfully detailed narrative of Julia Child’s life and love (cooking). I am amazed at all that she could remember about years earlier helped with previous letters. It makes one want to keep an account of one’s daily life to reminisce over, too.
I loved all the talk about food, her obsession with perfect cooking utensils and he attention to details (be it her house, kitchen, cooking or writing about cooking).
Julia Child was such a hard-worker, I look up to her. I can never do all the stuff that she did, so much hard work she poured in everything.
I adored the pictures and sketches in the book. They add to the book’s special quality.
I also adored her humor and her subtle hints about her relationship with Paul were heart-warming. They were just so perfect together.
Her wandering nature and travel tales strike specially with me since I am traveler by heart and hope to see the world someday.
Not so good
If I had known French and be a non-vegetarian, perhaps I would have given this book 5 stars. I loved all the talk about the food, but I couldn’t understand most of it (the dish names were in French) and didn’t care about almost all of them (since they were non-vegetarian).
Also, the length of the book did not work for me. Towards the end, I was almost looking forward to getting over with it quickly.
In all, it made for a great read, a wonderful introduction to Julia Child and provided some fuel to my own cooking ambitions. 🙂
Buy it here- The Book Depository
AMAZON(Click the links to buy)