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
"This is a valuable record of gorgeous meals in bygone Parisian restaurants, and the secret arts of a culinary genius." (Publishers Weekly)
I've listened to this one twice. I loved it both times. I think the writing is great and the reader is incredible. The voices on these audio books don't always match the writing. This is a perfect blend. Child's stories about her time in France took me away. It's very romantic and the stories are beautifully told. I especially love the way she talks about food and the occasional French word thrown in. Very highly recommended.
I absolutely loved this audio book! My husband even listened to it with me the second time. Well read. There were some untranslated French quotes. I don't understand French...
One of the finest books I have listened to. Picked me up and carried me to France, enchanted me with Julia's experience there, and made me want to experience Julia's world, but I actually did through her words.
Not only is this book an interesting insight into France and french cuisine, but you also get know a vivacious and dynamic creative who helped establish the phenomenon of television cooking class. It is a touching and thoroughly entertaining insight into a lovely fireball.
This book is such a great story about Julia Child's early years. I read it before I left for France and it really gave me an idea of how the French are and helped me on my trip. She, with her co-author, truly captures the essence of Paris and France and while things have become more modern the spirit of the people have NOT changed.
A different Julia Child we hadn't known and grow to respect even more thru wonderfully written book that is very well read. Thank you Julia for sharing your life with us.
I don't care if the narrator cannot speak french. I love Julia and have for years. To hear her thoughts and ides for me was wonderful. I was sad to have it end, but now I can look forward to listening again
I listened to this book after seeing the movie "Julie & Julia", which I enjoyed tremendously. This book was fun and gave me an insight into her life. Because she was such an iconic personality with a very recognizable voice, I kept wishing the reader sounded more like her. The French pronunciation was painful at times, but the emotional tone brought it alive. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I wasn't sure I would like this book and much to my surprise I really enjoyed it! I read a review where one person said the accent and pronunciations were terrible but I found that since I didn't know French, I didn't care! And if I were trying to read the book, I would be lost with the French so listening was the best way to go. After reading this, I now have a desire to visit France and taste the cuisine. This is not a waste of time.....
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