©1997 by Noël Riley Fitch; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
All I knew about Julia Child came from the movie Julie and Julia and from Julia Child's wonderful memoir, My Life in France. I was a little daunted by the length of this book and also some of the reviews, but it was a truly well-written biography and well worth the time spent listening. I was fascinated by the behind the scenes of making the television shows, and by all the work involved in producing *all* the books, not just Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The narrator was superb.
Julia Child was in her lifetime, and in this book, an inspiration for living and being free, confident, engaged and fully richly self-expressed. She is not given her due as the transformational force in the quality of life of the people of the United States. Her conviction, tenacity and unbridled enthusiasm and passion for her principles of good dining being fundamentally an integral and essential part of good living, and neither being exclusive to high society, but rather accessible to anyone who desires to live a full and healthy life is contagious and a treasure well expressed in this work. She is a model American hero. I may not agree with her every political opinion but I respect her integrity and esteem for individuals and common sense, and her irrepressible passion for joyful living. Appetite for Life is the perfect name for a book that spans her life, and gives the reader a fun and interesting travel through a period of history that rode the wave to the height of the industrial boom in the U.S. and ushered in the computer age. She adapted and though it all never lost sight of her identity and her purpose. We would be a better world if she were part of every American's study of U.S. History. Her story is edifying and delightful! Bon Appetite!
The book itself is much better than I thought it would be. I am a fan of biographies, and I finally got around to this one. The information is very interesting, and the writer includes personal details that give great insight into the personal relationships in Ms. Child's life. Very enjoyable listen, although at first the narrator does "the voices" in a rather forced manner. Also, The transitions between sections and chapters can be quite abrupt in the audio version. I doubt it would have the same effect in the written version. I definitely recommend this biography for anyone, not just cooking aficionados.
I enjoyed learning about Julia's life. However, there was too much detail. I found myself wishing for an abridged version. I really didn't need to know who she had dinner with and what was served. Also, each recording session seemed to have a different volume level and the quality of each session varied greatly.
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