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Publisher's Summary

In her own words, here is the captivating story of Julia Child's years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found "her true calling".

From the moment the ship docked in Le Havre in the fall of 1948 and Julia watched the well-muscled stevedores unloading the cargo to the first perfectly soigne meal that she and her husband, Paul, savored in Rouen en route to Paris, where he was to work for the USIS, Julia had an awakening that changed her life. Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California, who didn't speak a word of French and knew nothing about the country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu.

After managing to get her degree despite the machinations of the disagreeable directrice of the school, Julia started teaching cooking classes herself, then teamed up with two fellow gourmettes, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to help them with a book they were trying to write on French cooking for Americans. Throwing herself heart and soul into making it a unique and thorough teaching book, only to suffer several rounds of painful rejection, is part of the behind-the-scenes drama that Julia reveals with her inimitable gusto and disarming honesty.

This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

Le voici. Et bon appetit!

©2006 Alex Prud'Homme (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This is a valuable record of gorgeous meals in bygone Parisian restaurants, and the secret arts of a culinary genius." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kenneth
  • 24-08-2009


The story captures the life of Julia Child extraordinary! I loved every minute and found myself upset when it all ended.

I opted for the abridged version because I felt the full version would be a little boring. If I could do it over again, I'd go for the unabridged!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen
  • 04-03-2008

Thank you, Julia

What a wonderful gift Julia Child left us when she agreed to work with her nephew to finally put into words her life in France. I could visualize Julia speaking throughout the book and smiled.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan
  • 03-06-2006

To be admired

I have always loved and admired Julia Child. As a child growing up I would watch her cooking shows and I really feel she is one of the major reasons I fell in love with the kitchen. It saddens me to think that I will never get a chance to meet this wonderful woman. I found it intensely heartwarming to hear her wonderful story about her life and her rise to "fame". This book is a wealth of insight into her life and the struggles that she faced and conquered. It made me want to meet her even more. If you are a fan of Julia, I advise giving this a listen and let your mind imagine being there on her journey with her. How remarkable that must have been.
All the best...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret Mead
  • 31-07-2018

Political idiot

I wanted to read about cooking - not her take on politics and her criticism of the USA-

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