The memoir of a young diplomat's wife who must reinvent her dream of living in Paris - one dish at a time.
When journalist Ann Mah's diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post - alone. Suddenly, Ann's vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down.
So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city. Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life's truths.
Like Sarah Turnbull's Almost French and Julie Powell's New York Times best seller Julie and Julia, Mastering the Art of French Eating is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love - of food, family, and France.
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Enough with the Whining
I can't imagine anyone enjoying this other than the author herself. Enough with the whining, moping, and so on. This incessant complaining, moping, whining about her loneliness after separation from her husband because of job reasons can be of interest to no one. Do we want to read how she's so bored she spends her mornings wasting her time on Facebook or Skyping with her husband? If she'd stuck to the other parts of the story about foods and travels and so on this would have been an okay read (it's kind of dull and humorless even then), but as it reads now it's just like reading her diary entries and little else.
Written with more life and humor and cut out all the ENDLESS, repetitive personal stuff about her marriage and loneliness and boredom. If she's bored, we're even more bored.
The narrator wasn't the problem here, it was the author (and really the author's editor).
I tried. I really did. But this was just terribly, terribly unengaging. Every time I was interested in the subject of a chapter I found myself getting frustrated with the incessant droning on and on (and on and on) about how miserable the author was.
- Robert R. "Bohemian Bon Vivant"
- Julie Cord