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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 Books on Tape
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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sara on 07-03-08

What a pleasure!

I listened to this book on a trip through Avignon and Paris and it was wonderful. What an addition to our travels by TGV south from Paris. The reader was a delight and more than up to the challenges of the french language and all the culinary terms. Julia's take on the world a breath of fresh air. I was sorry when the book came to and end. However, to compensate I have pulled out my dog-eared copies of "mastering the art" and jumped back into cooking a la Julia! Brava Audible!

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45 of 47 people found this review helpful

By Karin on 02-06-10

A lovely memoir

This audiobook was a wonderful escape from my dreary December into the bright, lively world of post-war France.

Julia Child writes with vivid and loving detail of her years in Paris and Marseilles with her beloved husband, chronicling her education as a cook, her friendships, the writing of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and her many adventures in the shops, markets, and kitchens of Paris. Delightful!

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Penelope G. on 09-22-15


Wonderful story of the making of a culinary classic and masterpiece. Ordered a copy of both of Julia Child's books as soon as I'd finished this.

Beautifully narrated by Kimberley Farr - but oh the DREADFUL pronunciation of many French words and place names! Why do narrators not check with someone who speaks the language before they embark on reading? Ms Farr is far from the only culprit in this.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By CM on 12-05-13


This has been on my to-read list for a while, and I'm so glad I picked it up. The narrator is wonderful, and just about every chapter made me hungry. It's one of the few novels I actually might leave on my phone, even though I've completed it. I keep getting the urge to re-listen to bits of it when I'm puttering around my kitchen and attempting to make something half as fantastic as Julia Child's dishes. It's one of those books I got completely absorbed in, which is rare for me with nonfiction. It's funny and sweet and made me want to book a holiday to France as soon as possible.

Oh, and a word of advice: if you're using Audible for Android, make sure you download the book as two parts. For some reason the download failed when I tried to download it as one part, and the customer service rep I spoke to had the same issue when trying to replicate the problem. I almost had to have it refunded since I couldn't get it onto my phone. The two-part download worked fine, though, so I was happy in the end.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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