Can I gush?
This book is fantastic. A gem. As a person who knew nothing about Julia Child, this book was a revelation; her voice and mannerisms shine through so clearly in this story about Julia’s journey from girlhood into her full and robust life. The focus of the book, of course, is her time spent in France, where she fell in love with the people, the culture and, most importantly, the food. But it’s not just the food with Julia. It’s the preparation of the food, the time spent buying the ingredients, the care with which you make it and the friends that you eat it with — the whole package; THAT is what Julia loved.
I am inspired by Julia’s guts, her can-do attitude and her willingness to work hard at something because she loved it. She’s honest, too. Sometimes things were frustrating — she does not gloss over the effort of creating her famous cookbook or pretend that life wasn’t really challenging sometimes — and it’s that honesty that makes this such a compelling read. I felt as if I was IN France half the time, walking through the markets or sitting in a restaurant — the style of writing is very present and realistic. And since her most formative years as a cook happened just post-World War II, we also get a lovely picture of what life was like in France during that time, when having heat in your flat was still iffy in Paris and no one owned a television.
Rarely do I finish a nonfiction book and feel sad that there wasn’t more, but I did. I had to go to YouTube and watch her make an omelet and check out a cookbook from my library, just to keep the experience going. Not that I think I’ll be making roasted lamb or bouillabaisse anytime soon, but I can see why she had fans all over the world — she’s just so human that she makes you believe you can do anything.
Rated: Mild. There is one use of moderate language and 8 to 9 uses of mild language.