We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
My Life in France Audiobook

My Life in France

This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia Child 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.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Publisher's Summary

In her own words, here is the captivating story of Julia Child's years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found "her true calling".

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 soigne 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.

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 appetit!

©2006 Alex Prud'Homme; (P)2006 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"This is a valuable record of gorgeous meals in bygone Parisian restaurants, and the secret arts of a culinary genius." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (868 )
5 star
 (489)
4 star
 (256)
3 star
 (91)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.5 (418 )
5 star
 (272)
4 star
 (108)
3 star
 (33)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.4 (410 )
5 star
 (255)
4 star
 (104)
3 star
 (39)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jesse Seattle, CA, USA 05-12-09
    Jesse Seattle, CA, USA 05-12-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful story, worth listening to but..."

    ...as mentioned in other reviews, and I almost feel sorry for the narrator, she is not a French speaker, but tries. I cringed most at ca y'est pronounced as "ca y'esT". Yikes. It's still worth it, though. And other than the French, she's actually quite pleasant. The story is second to none if you love Julia Child. I'm grateful she lived long enough to finish the project. It's a gem.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Genevieve 03-03-10
    Genevieve 03-03-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great book, needs a better narrator"

    Disappointing that the narrator can't quite transmit the essence of Julia's words. Her French is lacking, which distracts from the story.
    Otherwise, a recommended book for any fans of Julia.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spencer Austin, TX, United States 10-28-11
    Spencer Austin, TX, United States 10-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book; narrator's French is weak"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a francophile, accompanying Julia as she falls in love with France and the French (even with all of the idiosyncrasies) is a delightful ride. My only regret about this audiobook is the narrator's proficiency in French. Julia uses French words throughout the book--adding quite a bit of flavor to her writing (no pun intended)--but the narrator gets the pronunciation wrong maybe 10 percent of the time, and not-so-great maybe 60 percent of the time. Kind of unimpressive considering the context. But I'd definitely recommend this book.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 12-04-11
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 12-04-11 Member Since 2015

    Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    704
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    142
    102
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    85
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Julia Child's love affair with France and Food"

    I enjoyed every minute of this well narrated and well written book. It is the basis for the part of the movie Julie/Julia that is based on Julia Child's life and it describes both her love of cooking and the delights of living in France...also the delights of EATING in France. A great recommendation for fans of France or of Julia Child."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley M. Blackler Ithaca, NY USA 09-15-09
    Shelley M. Blackler Ithaca, NY USA 09-15-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Content 5; Narration 3"

    This book is a wonderful connection to a fascinating woman and her very exciting, rich life. I learned to cook with Volume 1 and now I feel like I am learning about a friend.
    I heartily encourage others to 'read' it.

    I agree with those who criticize the narration: while it would be difficult to capture Julia's iconic voice, it absolutely does matter how words are pronounced. I am constantly jarred out of the story by words in French (and even English!) that are mispronounced.
    I believe someone who is paid to read aloud should spend some time researching how words are pronounced before beginning the task.

    Snobbish? I don't think so. Just asking for competence.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mamasunset California Central Coast 08-03-09
    mamasunset California Central Coast 08-03-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    460
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "This is not one for audio"

    It is not unreasonable to expect that this iconic wonderful woman's book about her life in France should be read with correct French pronounciation. I found the reader's butchering of 'Les Halles' and 'Hermes,' among many others, so distracting, it colored my enjoyment. I still give this five stars, but I think this book would be more enjoyed when read the old fashioned way.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Central Square, NY, USA 05-23-08
    Debbie Central Square, NY, USA 05-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Narrator Choice Is Key"

    While it was Saturday Night "spoofable" Julia Childs distinctive voice was almost iconic. The narrator for her biography however is stilted and almost shrill. I have tried several times to finish this book and just cannot handle her voice. Too bad. Not a bad accounting of Julia's life.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mkrhoades 05-30-07
    mkrhoades 05-30-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good listen, but...."

    The only downside to this audiobook is the narrator. Couldn't they find someone who actually spoke French to read the book? Julia Child deserved as much! If you speak French, the narration may drive you crazy. For example, "Louisette" sounded like "Louis VII" and "beurre blanc" became "beurre blanK." Howevever, if you can ignore it, it's a wonderful listen. I learned a great deal about the master and her love for good food, friends, and post-war France.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Toronto, ON, Canada 05-05-07
    Amy Toronto, ON, Canada 05-05-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "This narrator cannot speak French."

    This narrator is a perfectly fine storyteller...in English. But she mangles the French language so badly [and there's SO MUCH FRENCH in this book] that it's painful to listen to. I cringe every time she turns a beautiful French place name or food into a sound resembling a cat being strangled.

    I have endured several hours of this and am enjoying the story, but may have to abandon it and read it in the paper version instead. It's just too painful.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charlotte doster 05-26-06 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Review of"

    If you love cooking and the romance of living in France, read this book. If you love cooking, the romance of living in France and are a Republican, be prepared for what seems like frequent bashing. Nary is an opportunity missed to denigrate The Right. Julia also had daddy issues that are addressed a bit too much. BUT, despite my political leaning, I absolutely loved "My Life in France" The descriptions of the Child's homes, meals, friends, family, even pets blended perfectly to transform the reader to France in the 40's and 50's as The Childs experienced it. Details of how "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" evolved were fascinating. This autobiography was well-paced, never boring. Julia's life is an inspiration to all those over 40 who have yet to attain personal goals. I would highly recommend "my Life in France" to all.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • CM
    England
    12/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely!"

    This has been on my to-read list for a while, and I'm so glad I picked it up. The narrator is wonderful, and just about every chapter made me hungry. It's one of the few novels I actually might leave on my phone, even though I've completed it. I keep getting the urge to re-listen to bits of it when I'm puttering around my kitchen and attempting to make something half as fantastic as Julia Child's dishes. It's one of those books I got completely absorbed in, which is rare for me with nonfiction. It's funny and sweet and made me want to book a holiday to France as soon as possible.

    Oh, and a word of advice: if you're using Audible for Android, make sure you download the book as two parts. For some reason the download failed when I tried to download it as one part, and the customer service rep I spoke to had the same issue when trying to replicate the problem. I almost had to have it refunded since I couldn't get it onto my phone. The two-part download worked fine, though, so I was happy in the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Penelope G.
    9/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful"

    Wonderful story of the making of a culinary classic and masterpiece. Ordered a copy of both of Julia Child's books as soon as I'd finished this.

    Beautifully narrated by Kimberley Farr - but oh the DREADFUL pronunciation of many French words and place names! Why do narrators not check with someone who speaks the language before they embark on reading? Ms Farr is far from the only culprit in this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom
    7/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sent Me Back To My Cook Book!"

    This book focuses on Julia Child's life from the time that she moved to Paris with her husband; the rest of her life (childhood, and to an extent, life in old age) is dealt with in efficient and brief summaries which is good because this leaves us with the most interesting bits: what drove her to become obsessively interested in French cooking, and the journey that took her on.

    Clearly, Julia always led a fairly charmed and comfortable life. She had the leisure and money to explore what began as a hobby and became an all-encompassing passion. I very much enjoyed the matter-of-fact approach (it was really written by her relation, Alex Prud'Homme) because I think that reflects what comes across of her character. She is conveyed as an amusing woman, clever, driven, very out-going - but rather cold in some ways and not always 'kind' about people.

    The narration was just about alright and I think the performance captured Julia's character - rather braying and clipped; but some of the pronunciation was odd, for example culinary is always pronounced queue-linary and it started to get on my nerves.

    What the listen did do, was send me back to my Julia Child book and explore some more of its incredibly varied and detailed contents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.