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My Life in France Paperback – Oct 9 2007


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My Life in France + Mastering the Art of French Cooking Boxed Set: Volumes 1 and 2 + Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (Oct. 9 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307277690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307277695
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 25 2006
Format: Hardcover
My Life in France is the most entertaining memoir I've read in 2006! It's a winner.

I first met Julia Child under unusual circumstances. My consulting firm was located down the street from where she got her hair done. Every Friday night, she would be seen peering into the windows to look at our art collection. After a few weeks of this, I walked outside and invited her in to tour the work up close. She was immediately studying everything from about three inches away. She thanked me politely and charged out the door. There was no hint of the slightly tipsy person filled with laughter who hosted The French Chef. Ah . . . I felt like I had met the real woman beneath the persona.

From that meeting, I gathered that she was a woman moved more than most by curiosity. I found myself also being curious about how she learned enough about French cooking to help co-author that masterwork, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Most French people in those days would not choose working with an American as a way to produce a work about France. That would be like putting salty Virginia ham into Quiche Lorraine.

My Life in France nicely filled in all the blanks for me. The book was lovingly finished by her grand-nephew, Paul Prud'homme, after Julia's death and is filled with lovely photographs produced by Julia's husband, Paul Child.

Here's the short version of the book. Julia had been in Asia for World War II as part of the OSS and met her husband there. He was ten years older than she was and well traveled . . . especially in France. After World War II, he joined the USIS (predecessor to the USIA) which played a friendly sort of propaganda function promoting American values and ways of doing things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven TOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 13 2013
Format: Paperback
Child's book, it should be beyond surprise, reads rather like a cookbook. The reader is dizzied with untranslated French and long lists of French foods and left wondering if the subject was that of snails or gourmet crackers or perhaps the neighbor's cat. The text is a skillful lesson in gleaning from context quickly which passages should be read in detail and which should be merely glossed over for lack of adding anything to the narrative. No matter how assiduous I might read and reread Julia's detailed dinner menu from December 5th of 1962, it is exceptionally unlikely that any impression will be left on my apparently impregnable mind.

Actual writing aside, one is left at the end with a vast respect for the life that Child led. Her experiences were varied, her energy and patience immense and yet she never seemed to succumb to the egotism so common in the accomplished. She acknowledged that her chosen topic was a complex one but she pursued it with a vigor and exactitude that made it accessible to the common housewife of the time. Unlike her predecessors she took the time to make sure that the recipes in her book were not only detailed enough to be executed by the uninitiated but also didn't include those ingredients that couldn't be obtained outside of France. Her legend as the bridge between French cooking and America seems well earned.

Overall, I'd grant the book a few stars out of five but it would be much more entertaining to someone who had more of a connection either with cooking or with French culture. It is fairly hard to dive mind-first into a book that requires so much of it to be explicitly ignored.
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By Ana on July 10 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. Julia Child is a wonderful writer, completely pulls me in and makes me feel like I'm there with her.
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By Chisa on May 28 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book about Julia's time in France. If you seen the movie Julie and Julia you will want to read this book. Julia Child was an amazing woman and learning more about her experiences in France was great. She is an inspiration for stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. Look what she accomplished by doing it and imagine what you could do.
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By imsewfine on Dec 19 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of Julia Child, you should read this book. It encompasses her life and is really a great love story as well.
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Format: Paperback
Had read the biography, Dearie by Bob Spitz and a friend suggested I read this as well. Well worth reading a second book on her life. Her personality permeates her version and you do get quite a different perspective on the events of her life that complements rather than duplicates Dearie. The most striking aspect of the book that comes through is her remarkable character, a perfectionist who has the ability to immediately move on undaunted when faced with obstacles or situations that can't be overcome. She was also quite the intellectual with many interesting comments about society and politics.
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By Janice Street on March 23 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed reading about Julia's life in France. I was transported.
I chose this book because it is her own words and feelings telling this remarkable story.
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By janccd TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 6 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book and could feel the joy of good food and life that Julia Child lived with. She was truly an extraordinary person!
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