Title: My Life In France
Author: Julia Child & Alex Prud’homme
Release Date: April 4, 2006
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Audiobook
Rating: 4 out of 5
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.
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.