Book Review: My Life in France by Julia Child (DNF)
July 24, 2011 22 Comments
This book has become popular after the recent movie, Julie & Julia, which I didn’t see. I had no idea what the movie was about, but if I’d known it was about a cook, I’d definitely have gone and watch it!
The book was a bit longwinded, and I didn’t finish it. I got to about half-way.
My Life in France: What it is about
Julia Child was a famous tv cook in the US. This book is her memoir, written by her and her grandnephew Alex Prud’homme.
It relates her time in France, just after the second world war, when her husband was stationed there as a US cultural diplomat. Julia couldn’t cook at all, but after she enjoyed many good meals in French restaurants, she wanted to try for herself. After a lot of practice at home she decided to enrol at the famous Cordon Blue cooking school where she was taught by professional chefs.
Later, she wrote a cook book together with two of her friends in France and she gave cooking lessons.
My Life in France: What I thought
Not being American, and not tuned in to American tv, I had only vaguely heard of this author/cook and then probably only because of the movie about the book.
So, I had no preconceptions about the author or her work.
The story of her and her husband arriving in France and setting up home there was initially quite interesting. However, she describes in too much detail for my liking what restaurants she goes to and what she eats there. As a vegetarian, most of these dishes didn’t appeal to me so I couldn’t share her appreciation for these apparently wonderful foods.
Now, I am a fan of Masterchef (UK) so being a vegetarian can’t be blamed for everything here. I think it was also the amount of food information that I was given as well as the not-so interesting life that Julia was living, that made me decide to stop reading about half-way through.
Most people’s memoirs would be quite boring to read, I’m sure. I know mine would! Julia Child may have been a famous cook but the only two things that were special about her (as far as I can make out) is that she, an US woman, lived in France for a while and that she, the famous cook, didn’t know how to cook when she first was married.
That is interesting for a short while, but not for 400 pages. I did not hate the book at all, but it was all a bit bland, and 200 pages was enough for me. Maybe I would have found it more interesting if I’d known more about the author.
Rating: 3/5 (DNF)
I got this book: from a book swap last month
I read this in: English, the original language
Number of pages: 414 (I stopped at page 209)
First published: 2006
Genre: memoir, cooking