The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of My Life in France, by Julia Child

This book was a delight! Although it is less than a comprehensive autobiography, it does encompass Child’s life in beyond her time in France, extending to the success of her TV show here in the United States. And Julia Child is so … endearing, without pretense except in those instances where she is trying to give the benefit of the doubt to someone with whom she has been at odds.

Child and her husband, Paul, went to France as newlyweds in 1948. She had never been there before, while he had lived there in his 20s and was returning to work for the U.S. Information Service. At that point, she was an amateur in the kitchen and seemed rather adrift in her life, other than having found a partner in Paul and playing hostess to their many visiting friends and family members. As she explored Paris, she fell into cooking, taking classes at Cordon Bleu, talking to local chefs, and allying herself with two Frenchwomen with whom she taught French cooking to English-speaking ex-pats. She and Simone Beck went on to write the innovative cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, taking wildly different approaches to recipes, getting dumped by their first would-be publisher, and maintaining a strong friendship despite the tension these situations created. All along, Child took time to smell the sea air of the Meditteranean, follow Paul to postings in Germany and Norway, and become America’s first celebrity chef.

She was also a cat lover, and among Paul’s many photographs illustrating the book is a photo of their first cat, Minette. There is also a memorable French quote that translates to: “A house without a cat is like life without sunshine.” I could not agree more! As far as animal incidents, there are a couple of negative images, but nothing that keeps this book from being SAFE for animal lovers. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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January 30, 2009 - Posted by | animals, Book Reviews, cats, food | , , , , ,

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