My Life in France, Julia Child

Images  I finally got around to reading My Life in France by Julia Child.  Initial reviews kept me from reading the book and buying it in hard back.  With the upcoming release of Julia and Julia and reading countless interviews with Nora Ephron about Julia Child, I finally picked up the book.

If you love the art of food and certainly the history, then it is probably worth the read.  After all, Julia Child, imho, was and still is the creme de la creme of cooking.  From Mastering the Art of French Cooking to her TV show (the first cooking show) to the timing of everything because when she started Americans were starting to become more interested in food.  After WWII, more  Americans started to travel abroad and brought back fond memories of the food they ate there.

The book is basically a play by play of her life.  Quickly summing up her childhood and really getting into the nitty gritty after marrying her beloved husband, Paul.  Julia and Paul seemed to have a wonderful partnership.

A few things I just loved about the book is that the book, written by Paul's brothers son (grand-nephew), sounds just like Julia Child talking ( as I assume she would talk).  She is charming and just adores food.  She tirelessly researches everything and gets down to making mayonnaise hundreds of times to create a no-fail recipe regardless of climate or conditions and of course keep notes upon notes.  What is so absolutely endearing and utterly charming is Julia's zest for life.  She seizes each day as an adventure and seems to see the upside in everything.

 In many ways, after reading her book makes me think that no matter your age, there are always opportunities to do something new.  She was in her mid-40's when she published the first book.  Also, do things for your own satisfaction and don't worry about what anyone else thinks.  I want to rush home and whip up a million different things and start to take better notes.  I also plan on reading all 3 of Julia's cookbooks back to back and find out where I can get my hands on all her television shows to watch (anybody know?).

 As I am writing this post, and thinking about the book which in some regards was tedious, I am pretty sure it will stick with me for a very very long time.  She was truly an incredible human being.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Karen

    When I read My Life in France I was inspired to find her tv shows so that I could watch Julia in action. Now I own the dvds for Julia Child’s The French Chef series and I love them! You can buy them from amazon. Here is the link for The French Chef season 1:…From there you’ll find links to the other seasons of the show.Enjoy!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Huge thanks!!

  2. AlisonA

    Thanks for the review – I have wanted to read the book too but never got around to it. It is now next on my Kindle list! On another book-related note, have you read Art of Racing in the Rain? It was beautifully written and lived up to the hype I thought…

    1. Gotham Gal

      Haven’t read that. Will pick it up. Thanksjoanne [email protected]

  3. John

    Also interesting to remember is Julia Child’s WW2 experience as an early member of the OSS, the precursor of the CIA.

    1. Gotham Gal


  4. Wendy Read aka Sunchowder

    I felt the same way after reading her book! I bought all three of her cookbooks, plus Simone’s. I loved her story and wished that I knew her myself. The scenes are still vivid for me of her holidays in France.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I wish I knew her too. I also love that she was a person who never lookedback. When she was at her house in the French countryside and knew it wasthe last time, she just said, fins. Love that!

  5. candice

    I just finished this book as well, actually, and got my fiancee to read it (and he is all war documentary books all the time, and even he loved it.)We found this:… a searchable archive of clips from her shows to watch.I really need to get more of the cookbooks now, i’ve been cooking my way through the first one all year.

  6. Shelley

    I also found her strong character inspiring because she didn’t allow people to tell her what she could or couldn’t do. She defined her own life. If only we (and our children) could all hold onto that ideal through life.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Agreed, really inspiring and she definitely did what she wanted to and loved to do. You have to admire that in anyone.joanne [email protected]

  7. riccochran

    I’ve seen the movie twice…just finishing “My Life”…and honestly…Julia Child this is a rare a beautiful character with a sensitivity for life and culture second to none. The reading of Julia’s account in France is nothing less than inspirational…cooking? The recipes she discovers are wonderfully simple and honest and are merely adelicious bonus in this woman’s incredible contribution to a world that needs to be reminded to cease it’s harried dash for the finish line…and start enjoying the run.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Enjoying the run. Couldn’t agree more.

  8. maggib

    Loved this book and Julia’s joie de vivre after reading Julie Powell’s book which was funny but not in the same category. Very moving and enjoyable.Reviewed this book on