|Julia and Paul Child|
Much has been written in the blogosphere about this book since the movie and "Julie and Julia" hit the big screen. I probably won't break any new ground in this review as I loved it as much as every other sane person on the planet. What is not to love? It works on so many levels. Not only does the book allow us to vicariously live in France and eat amazing food but we also get a chance to hang out with one of the most enthusiastic, life affirming humans to ever walk the planet. I have loved Julia since I was a child. And she was the subject of an early post here on My Porch.
Back in the late 1990s as I approached my 30s, I read Appetite for Life a biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch. The most important thing I took away from that reading was that Child, a revolutionary force in American food, didn't start cooking until she was in her early 30s. This gave me the added boost I needed to leave behind a fun, well-paying job to go back to school for another Master's degree. And now here I am in my early 40s and am again inspired by Child's late bloomer success and absolute lust for life.
Like I said I don't have much new ground to cover on this well reviewed book so I won't say too much more. There were two literary connections in this book that I found fascinating. One was that Dorothy Canfield (Fisher) makes a few epistolary appearances in the text. Canfield Fisher, author of one of my favorite novels The Home-Maker, was friends with one of Child's cookbook collaborators and played an early, cameo role in the development of their magnum opus Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And the second, perhaps even more impressive literary connection is that Judith Jones, the editor who finally brought MAFC to print was an editorial assistant who convinced her boss to reconsider his decision to not buy the US rights to publish Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Jones sure knows how to spot a gem.
Unless you are a cranky, life-hating, mistanthrope who doesn't like to eat, you will love this book.