I am excited to be participating in this year's Paris in July hosted by Karen from Bookbath and Tamara from Thyme for Tea. I've been struggling to find things to read of late, and I didn't have a clue what I could read to participate, but Karen's list of inspiration mentioned Julia Child's My life in France. Long before the film, Julie and Julia, I had read the book, but the film inspired to me to read the book which had inspired the original book, and so I decided that Paris in July would be the perfect time to get around to it.
The book is Julia Child's memoir of, as the title suggests, her life in France - she moved their with her diplomat husband in 1948 and initially found it difficult to settle in. But she quickly fell in love with French culture, shopping at the markets, attending dinner parties with other ex-pats, and taking cookery classes at the Cordon Bleu. She then made friends with some other french-food lovers and together they started to collaborate on the cookbook. It was a fascinating tale of a pretty inspiring woman; whilst Child could easily have suffered at having to move for her partner's job, she seized matters into her own hands and carved out a good life for herself.
I have to say, that whilst reading, I found it very difficult to imagine Julia Child as anyone other than the marvellous Meryl Streep (she is so good in that film!); I even heard her voice as I read through this autobiography. One thing that surprised me about the book was how recently it was published - mostly written with a ghost writer in the year leading up to her death, it was completed after she died in 2004. Because the cookbook is so very traditional, I somehow thought that this would be a much older book, which it isn't, but it does deal with a period of almost 60 years.