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Publisher's Summary

The definitive biography of Julia Child - with access to Julia's diaries and letters - written by the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed The Beatles and timed to Julia's 100th birthday.

From Pasadena to Cambridge to New York, Washington, D.C., India, Ceylon, Paris, Marseilles, Santa Barbara, and Maine, Bob Spitz re-creates an extraordinary life. He takes us beyond the image of Julia as the tall, eccentric woman with a funny voice who taught America how to cook, to establish her as a genuine rebel and beloved icon, a woman who redefined herself in middle age, helped to change the role of women in America, set the standard for how to create a public personality in the modern media world, and altered the way America eats and thinks of food. There might not be a Food Network or even a PBS if Julia had not blazed the trail.

Spitz chronicles Julia's friendships, her struggles, her heartwarming romance with Paul, and of course, the story of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her triumphant TV career. A thorough, surprising, affectionate, and extraordinarily entertaining account of a truly remarkable life.

©2012 Bob Spitz (P)2012 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Bon Appetite!

An excellent narrative of Julia Child's life. I started to understand her passion, care and her forward thinking ways. The history of Pasadena was well done. The various anecdotes were shared brilliantly. I now understand why she did not like the book 'Julia and Julie'. That author played at cooking while not perfecting the process! Julie did not do her homework on Julia or Julia's cooking. Dearie is an excellent book and one I will not forget anytime soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Truly a Remarkable Life

Reading this book about Julia Child has been such a pleasant, gradually developing treasure! I was drawn to this book because I have long enjoyed the Julia Child that I knew from the PBS shows and was eager to learn more. This book goes back to the very essence of what helped her develop into the Julia that her fans came to love. I liked her before I read this book, and now I am utterly amazed by her! What a journey! What a spirit! What an inspiration! This book presents a Julia that I never would have guessed existed!
This narrator puts just the right touch of emotion into her reading, so that even though the book is long, it never feels tedious; and sometimes when she is quoting Julia it actually sounds like I hear a little of the timbre of the real Julia’s voice!
Most biographies I have read focus on certain portions of a person’s life, but I feel that this is the most thorough account I have ever read about one person...in one book. I truly feel as though I have known Julia!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 01-05-14

Outstanding biography, beautifully read

If you could sum up Dearie in three words, what would they be?

Thorough, fascinating, excellent.

What did you like best about this story?

It seems very well-researched and complete. I'm much more in awe of Julia Child after reading it.

Have you listened to any of Kimberly Farr’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not yet, I'm new - but I'll seek her out; her performance does justice to the subject.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It definitely made me laugh.

Any additional comments?

I'm listening to it again right now to catch what I might have missed the first time, and am looking forward to every minute.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jordan
  • Denton, TX, United States
  • 12-10-13

Fantastic

If you could sum up Dearie in three words, what would they be?

Delicious Satisfying Intimate

What did you like best about this story?

The intimate and in-depth prose make this book difficult to stop listening to. Kimberly Farr doesn't become Julia Child or Paul Child or Judith Jones or anyone else, she simply narrates as though she is telling you her friend about a great woman and her life.

Which scene was your favorite?

Anything where Bob Spitz discusses Julia and her cooking. Whatever time and wherever on Earth she was at the moment I just wanted to listen to her cook. I believe I got my wish.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, the excellent way Kimberly Farr narrates the end of Julia Child's life, I cry most times I listen to it.

Any additional comments?

This is an exceptional work and any Julia Child fan will find a friend in Bob Spitz and Kimberly Farr. I thank them both from the bottom of my heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Such an interesting accidental life- fascinating story. I enjoyed learning about the impact Julia had on American cuisine, and her stubbornness as well as her ability to change with the times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Nice Addition to Julia Repertoire

Would you listen to Dearie again? Why?

Nope. It was good, but I've read a lot about Mrs. Child already and this was fairly long.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dearie?

Nothing stands out. As I said, it was long.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Even if you love Julia, her voice grates on you after a dozen hours-- and so does the narrator's impression of her. But really very well done.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Of course not. No one who has a life can do that. Check the length.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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intriguing story, but long

what a life she lived. last few chapters made me yearn for an editor, but still an impressive work. narration was fine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ivanka
  • Eden Prairie, MN United States
  • 11-09-12

Loved it

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dearie?

The moment when Julia and Jacques discuss the drawbacks of the Cuisinart food processor.

Which character – as performed by Kimberly Farr – was your favorite?

I like the way Kimberly Farr performed Julia. Rather than trying to impersonate Julia, Kimberly voiced her in a way that captured Julia's spirit and personality.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was particularly moved by Julia's farewell to La Pitchoune.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed Kimberly Farr's narration of this book. She was very natural, expressive without being melodramatic, and adjusted her tone and rhythm to suit the storyline.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Reads like a novel

Where does Dearie rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Of the few nonfiction books I've read/listened to, this one ranks close to the top.

Who was your favorite character and why?

JULIA, of course! She led such an interesting life and had so much drive and commitment to the integrity of her craft. I want to be more like Julia when I grow up.

What about Kimberly Farr’s performance did you like?

Ms. Farr captured the essence of Julia's warbling without going overboard. She has a pretty good French accent too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Book about an Amazing Woman

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This was such an enjoyable book to listen to. It did not feel like the author sugar-coated the story of Julia Child's life. I had read & heard how she had gotten started cooking and knew a small bit about the writing of the first "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" But I did not know much about her life after that. I feel that I got to know Paul as well. And to discover how she just kept going and going was amazing. She put her heart and soul into her cooking and then her writing. Julia was quite a character with a good sense of humor.

What does Kimberly Farr bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I feel the narrator did a very good job telling Julia's story. I was able to picture in my mind what the author intended.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

At 25+ hours, I would not have wanted to listen to all in one sitting. Also, I wanted to savor it over several days!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful