Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Book Review-My Life in France

I loved Julie and Julia, both the book and the movie. But when I saw in the end credits that the movie was based not only on Julie Powell’s book but also Julia’s My Life in France, I had to reserve it at the library. Published posthumously, Julia’s nephew, accomplished writer Alex Prud’Homme, had helped her sift through letters from her husband, Paul, to his twin brother Charlie and other ephemera from their time in Europe.

Julia and Paul met while working in the Foreign Service and were thrilled to be stationed in Paris. Even non-foodies, like myself, will enjoy her descriptions of their quirky apartment and the friends they make in the City of Light. Naturally, a lot of the book is about food: her studying at the Cordon Bleu, eating at restaurants all over France and preparing recipes for Mastering the Art of French Cooking. As I said, I’m not much of a foodie but I was interested in the story of her collaboration with two French women and the long road to being published.

I also found her husband, Paul, fascinating-he not only worked at his diplomatic job, he was a talented photographer and artist. In fact, the book is full of his photographs--check out the full 2 page spread of their Valentines Day cards throughout the years. And he wholeheartedly supported anything Julia wanted to do--reminds me of my own husband!

The latter part of the book has the Childs traveling back and forth from their Cambridge home to a house they built in Provence. When Paul retired, they made the Cambridge house their main residence and fell into the WGBH show that would make Julia Child a household name in the US--The French Chef.

Even though she collaborated with her nephew, the book is written completely from her perspective. You can hear her voice in every sentence. This book made me yearn to meet her… I guess I’ll just have to settle for watching a few of her French Chef episodes. Or maybe I’ll just buy a DVD of Julie and Julia!

Do What You Love!

No comments: