Book Reviews

My Life in France by Julia Child | Book Review

My Life in France by Julia Child | Book Review My Life in France by Julia Child
Genres: Food, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Original Publication Date: 2009
Source: I purchased this book
Goodreads
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon
three-half-stars

Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, Julia Child was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for the USIS, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets, and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever with her newfound passion for cooking and teaching.


After reading Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, I knew that I had to read My Life in France by Julia Child. I wanted to know how Julia became a great chef.

She tells the amazing story about how she became celebrated for her cooking, despite never working in a restaurant.

Julia Child’s First Meal in France Changed Her Life

Julia had not had much interest in cooking until she went to live in France with her husband Paul.

She certainly enjoyed eating, however, and was never afraid to try new foods. Julia’s first meal in France literally changed her life. She was enchanted with the food and how it was prepared and how it tasted.

Julia became obsessed with all things French, but especially the food.  She had not found what she really wanted to do with her life. It slowly became apparent to her that she had to learn to cook French food.

Julia wanted to become a great French chef and possibly open her own restaurant. She studied at the most famous French cooking school, the Cordon Bleu. She learned a lot and also practiced obsessively at home.

She had an enthusiastic partner in her husband Paul. He supported her in everything she did. They were true soul mates.

Julia Child Publishes A Famous Cookbook and Becomes A Television Host

She became friends with Simone Beck, and along with Louisette Bertholle, formed a cooking school in Paris.

Together they published the instant classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was geared for an American audience.

Julia explains how this all happened in her book. The success of the book eventually lead to her television series, The French Chef.

Here is the legend in action:

Final Analysis

You can’t help but love Julia because she was an original. She really didn’t judge other people, and she was always open to new ideas. She also was able to add her own touches to her recipes and make them uniquely her own. The reason her television show was so successful was that there was no one else like her — ever.

You can read more about Julia at the Julia Child Foundation.

Similar Books

You can also read my reviews of Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. and Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell.

You may also want to read The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family by Laura Schenone | Book Review.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About Julia Child

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California. After graduating from Smith College she worked for the OSS during World War II in Ceylon and China, where she met Paul Child. After they married they lived in Paris, where she studied at the Cordon Bleu and taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, with whom she wrote the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). In 1963, Boston’s WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made her a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966.

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