Book Review: My Life In France – Julia Child & Alex Prud’homme

Title: My Life In France
Author: Julia Child & Alex Prud’homme
ISBN: 9780307474858
Pages: 368
Release Date: April 4, 2006
Publisher: Anchor
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

This is Julia Child’s memoir of her years living in France with her husband Paul, written with the assistance of Alex’Prudhomme.  Julia recounts living in France, going to school at Le Cordon Bleu, and making friendships that would last her a lifetime.  The book spans her arrival in France through close to the end of her life.

Review:

I’ve heard great things about Julia Child’s My Life In France, but I’d never really gotten around to reading it.  That changed when I received a book of letters between Julia Child and her friend Avis DeVoto for review.  I was curious about the letters, but figured I needed to know more about Julia Child to really understand their context.  I chose the audio format for My Life In France because I’d heard good things about the audio version.

I really enjoyed getting to know Julia Child through her memoir.  The narrator, Kimberly Farr, did an incredible job channeling Julia.  As a result, I felt like Julia Child herself was talking to me and telling her about her life.  Her experiences were really interesting, and I loved the way she adjusted to her new life.  This audio production was unabridged and ran just over 11 hours.

I also found Julia Child’s experiences very inspirational.  When she first moved to France, Julia didn’t even know how to cook.  She began taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu as something to do while her husband, Paul, was busy working.  She began to love cooking, especially the detail that goes into French cooking, and slowly evolved into the Julia Child we know and love today.  It was a great message for those who want to learn to cook but are intimidated because they don’t know how.

I’m not sure the audio format worked as well as it could have for me.  Many times while listening, I wished I had the book in print so I could read the amazing food descriptions.  They didn’t sink in nearly as well as they would have had I read it in print.  I think that foodie memoirs might be better in print for me.  That’s not to say I don’t recommend the audio version, as Kimberly Farr was a wonderful narrator, but the nature of the book means that I probably would have enjoyed the print version more.

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Comments

  1. I have this book in my TBR pile. Thanks for the review. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  2. I have this book in my TBR pile. Thanks for the review. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  3. I bet this one would be great on audio! More and more, I think nonfiction and memoir are perfect on audio, while fiction often doesn’t work for me.

  4. I bet this one would be great on audio! More and more, I think nonfiction and memoir are perfect on audio, while fiction often doesn’t work for me.

  5. I may have to try this but if I do pick up the audio, I’ll make sure to have the print one handy and follow along in the book or something.

  6. I may have to try this but if I do pick up the audio, I’ll make sure to have the print one handy and follow along in the book or something.

  7. I decided to read this after reading “Julie & Julia.” It felt wrong not to know more about the inspiration!

  8. I decided to read this after reading “Julie & Julia.” It felt wrong not to know more about the inspiration!

  9. I have been wanting to read this for such a long time! I am so glad to hear that it’s an awesome book and I am going to be grabbing it soon. Thanks!

  10. I have been wanting to read this for such a long time! I am so glad to hear that it’s an awesome book and I am going to be grabbing it soon. Thanks!

  11. I always feel I don’t retain the same amount of information if I listen to a book versus reading a book. Perhaps it’s just how I learn.

  12. I always feel I don’t retain the same amount of information if I listen to a book versus reading a book. Perhaps it’s just how I learn.

  13. Hmm. I wonder how I’d respond to this type of book in an audio format. Audiobooks often bring old novels to life for me, but I wonder if I’d enjoy food descriptions or nature descriptions as much in audio format.

    I read this book while reading The Julie/Julia Project (a novel that interminably grated on my nerves). I found My Life in France utterly charming when I read it last year. Julia’s culinary failures were delightful to hear about, especially since we knew she was eventually going to figure it out. Her description of her scrambled-egg fiasco how her teacher publicly humiliated her for beating her eggs too hard still makes me grin every time I make scrambled eggs–the wrong way!

  14. Hmm. I wonder how I’d respond to this type of book in an audio format. Audiobooks often bring old novels to life for me, but I wonder if I’d enjoy food descriptions or nature descriptions as much in audio format.

    I read this book while reading The Julie/Julia Project (a novel that interminably grated on my nerves). I found My Life in France utterly charming when I read it last year. Julia’s culinary failures were delightful to hear about, especially since we knew she was eventually going to figure it out. Her description of her scrambled-egg fiasco how her teacher publicly humiliated her for beating her eggs too hard still makes me grin every time I make scrambled eggs–the wrong way!

  15. I also loved this book when I read it last year. I wish that I had read it while Julia was alive I would definitely have paid more attention to her. Great Review

  16. I also loved this book when I read it last year. I wish that I had read it while Julia was alive I would definitely have paid more attention to her. Great Review

  17. I knew very little about Child before I read this book and I just fell in love with her. She had such a passion to enjoy everything around her. I wish I could have met her.

  18. I knew very little about Child before I read this book and I just fell in love with her. She had such a passion to enjoy everything around her. I wish I could have met her.

  19. Carl read the print version of this and really enjoyed it. I think I’d like it too.

  20. Carl read the print version of this and really enjoyed it. I think I’d like it too.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the info

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the info

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