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 learned more about Julia Child and her lovely husband. I found the first person presentation entertaining - Julia came alive for me! I enjoyed her exclamations too (e.g. 'Phew' etc!)
Absolutely! I found the contextualising of their lives in post-war Europe fascinating to listen to, and I learned a lot too about that time period and US-French relations.
Narrator Kimberley Farr's performance is entertaining and her French pronunciation is perfect.
No, it wasn't that sort of book! However I was thoroughly intrigued and entertained all the way through!
I am not a keen cook, but listening to Julia Child's enthusiastic recounting of recipes and food makes me want to master the art of French cuisine myself!
I really loved this audiobook. The narrator was excellent and brought to life Julia Child's excitement about cooking and life in France. I was amazed to learn that at age 36 she started cooking seriously, and learned french even later in life. I am not a cook myself, but felt inspired by her creativity, focus and determination. Julia was an eternal optimist but had a sharp and hilarious tongue. Can't recommend it enough.
I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
Not that I want to be dead.... but... what a great book! So..... I decide to go to go off the Paris for 7 weeks, and which books would serve me best? I ended up taking this one (on Audible... too bad Julia Child didn't narrate the book her self... but you can't have everything). It's equally enchanting as she gets rapturous about cheese or a fish market, and equally funny as she tussles with her co-authors. I am a Parisian trained chef, so Julia Child has ALWAYS been my hero and I loved her TV show when I was growing up for the unconscious flirtations she had with disaster (if part of it falls on the floor, just pick it up and continue on... no one will know!) and her gawkiness and her charm and wit. If you like food, or how to get a book published, or France (I happen to like all three) read it! It's very good and the movie DID NOT do it justice. As the French would say... Oh La La. (And I was just there...and not one single French person who I asked knew who she was!) It would be good to know a little French, but not as important to know as much (Spanish) if you were reading Comac McCarthy... so don't let the minuscule amount of French throw you off. It's just a great book.
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.
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