My Life in France by Julia Child
Every chapter is simple and easy to breeze through. Once in a while, I'll come across an autobiography where the content is so detailed it seems the author is suffering from the classic celebrity syndrome of an unbearably huge ego. None of that can be found here.
The Californian-native is detailed about her relationships with fellow Gourmettes and her ventures into the publishing and television world without long-winded stories that finish in a dead-end. Child's descriptions of the scrumptious foods she made are absolutely mouth-watering. The deeply devoted Democrat leads us through the years of her life with wit and a notable zest for life in general. Her enthusiastic curiosity to embark into every world, culinary or otherwise, no doubt leaves an impression that she must have been a terribly fun person to share food, wine and conversation with.
"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!"Julia provides the main narration, but the journey is as much of hers as it is Paul's. In the modern world where many celebrity marriages seem like almost a joke where shameless tabloids exploit divorces and affairs, it was heartwarming to read how a couple supported each other when delving into unknown territories, especially fame.
Paul had Julia's back 110% with her cooking aspirations and often encouraged her to continue cooking and writing when she felt like throwing in the towel. He also used his passion for photography to snap photos of his wife cooking for her books and put his U.S. government experience with the media to work when Julia dealt with her first rounds of book signings, magazine interviews, and television appearances. As the couple lived abroad, they aimed to enhance each others' lives and their relationship is overall exceptionally loving.
My Life In France is such a delicious read, and made me want to hop on the next plane and relocate across the pond to follow in Child's steps. After some consideration the idea wasn't very practical, this yummy autobiography did jump start my own interest in cooking. With the picturesque and romantic life Julia and Paul lead, this book left me with a bigger appetite to experience life with more vivacity.
On a side note: In 2005, Julia Child's life was merged with that of Julie Powell; a blogger turned author who cooked her way through Child's famous Master the Art of French Cooking. The novel was eventually adapted to the big screen in 2009 with Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, respectively playing Julia and Paul, with Amy Adams fronting as Powell.
Directed and written by Nora Ephron, the film splits time between Child and Powell's trials and tribulations in both their professional and personal lives. The performances by the trio are exceptional, though I found the characterization of Powell to be quite unlikable and catty. (Adams managed to make her character more charming than Powell's persona). Though the Julie and Julia novel is not as enjoyable as Child's autobiography, the adaptation gives a brief biopic of the couples' relationship intermixed with Powell's journey through cooking, and it's a fun Friday night movie for fans of the unforgettable culinary duo.