Julia Child: My Life in France

8:35 AM



I recently finished reading “My life in France” by Julia Child, a memoir of her time leading to her success as a chef, author, and TV sensation, through a series of letters and some reflection on that period in her life. Not only did her book make me want to drop everything and move to France, it made me think of her as a real inspiration.

Lets be realistic for  a moment, as much as I like tinkering around in the kitchen, I cannot see myself cooking up each of her recipes like Amy Adams did in the film “Julie & Julia”, I don’t think I have the desire to either. Hungry as her words made me feel, it was not the topic of food that made me find this woman inspiring as much as her enthusiasm, strength, and appreciation for life.

Julia Child was a woman to be infatuated with detail, to discover the mechanics of a certain food item, and to test each possibility it could posses. She wrote with great detail of the foods she ate at restaurants in France, the people she met there, and the places she visited, in her letters to friends and family in the states. This woman loved France the way fan-girls love whatever it is they fan-girl over. She became immersed in France, in her life there with her husband Paul. Despite her opposing views with her father on how she should live her life; him a staunch Republican, Julia a liberal-Democrat, she continued to write him and encouraged him to visit often, knowing that life was too short to not enjoy.

The biggest aspect of Julia that I find inspiring however has to be how she regarded her life. She married in her thirties, to a man she deeply loved ten years her senior. She took cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu in her mid-thirties; it took her years to write “Mastering the art of French-Cooking” with her collaborators, and she did not debut  on TV until she was 51 years old. THIS is what I adore, the fact that she never found that she had to follow any ideals of how or when to live her life. She took things as they came, and then ran with it, always perfecting it. Surrounded by my existential peers, constantly question what to do with their lives in there mere twenties, or complaining that they have not found love yet, Julia’s life was refreshing, and encouraging. She did mention her apprehension of never having children (not from lack of trying), but she poured a mother’s love into her friends and family to make up for it. Not everything worked out perfectly in life for her, but I can't help admire her positive attitude, and her ability to create an enjoyable environment for everyone around her.  

“Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper.  -Julia Child 


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11 Musings

  1. Brilliant post, Sara. Julia faced a world of possibilities and she carved her own path. As you note, she didn't feel required to fit into an existing social slot and become a lawyer, doctor or housewife before hitting 24. Many of us don't know what we want to be when we grow up, so we need to mature before finding our bliss. Julia found hers, by devoting attention and energy to the things that appealed to her. You can't beat that approach. One foot in front of the other as you gain feedback from every step. It's what led a shy boy like me into motorcycles and female fashion.

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  2. My Life In France is a fantastic love story in so many ways. Julia's love affair with France is obvious, but I think Julia and Paul's relationship is so beautiful.
    (Also, I totally found a first edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Two when I worked at the bookstore. I only realized it was a first due to the part about using an asbestos tile for making french bread. We were able to mark it up a whole $20 more because of it.)

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  3. she is truly an inspiring woman!!

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  4. Sounds like an amazing book, I'd like to check it out. She is a very inspirational person, I agree with that!

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  5. I remember watching her show when I was a little girl. I would watch it with my grandmother. She was a comical lady, but I never knew anything about her besides cooking. Sara, this post was very enlightening. I always like to know the story behind the person. There's always one. She truly made the best of everything in her life. She didn't put a time, date or stamp on what was expected of her. So many people look at you oddly when you're not in the place of life where THEY feel you should be. That shouldn't be the case. Thanks for sharing this. It's inspiration for me and many others.
    Have a great week and thank you so much for your beautiful comment.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  6. I so loved your review. She truly was a unique individual.

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  7. This was great. I'm glad she's inspiring. For every woman...and every cook in us.

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  8. What a great post to have this week. Thanksgiving and all. Really glad you did this!

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  9. I really love Julia and Paul's relationship. I think we can learn so much from it. What a great start to Thanksgiving week!

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  10. This is on the wait list for me at the library!

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  11. I love this! Julia Child is so inspiring. I rememeber watching movie and thinking she was so awesome, brilliant and funny haha

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Talk nerdy to me.