Friday, April 9, 2010

Somebody else's life in France

A friend mentioned she was reading My Life in France, Julia Child's memories of the early years of her marriage (spent, oddly enough, in France) and I suddenly felt I must read it too. So I am, and I can hardly put it down!

I never saw any of Julia Child's cooking shows or other TV appearances and I'm only registering that a movie was made of this book because there's picture on the cover of my copy of Meryl Streep in a market and wearing a pink cardi on her shoulders. So that's not what grabs me. And it's not the food stuff - I have no aspirations toward that level of cooking - or the locale, really.

It's that voice. The voice of the narrator is everything for me. And it's obvious that Julia Child was a person you'd want very much to know, if you could. It's invigorating to read about somebody so passionate about a subject, and so energized about learning, and so focused on the fun of it all.

Bonus: she met a lot of artists and writers and conditions generally in postwar Paris that I know from my other reading, which grounds things for me and adds new perspective.

This book will go on my gift-giving list. But not this edition, with its Meryl Streep cover and complete lack of photos inside of the people being written about. That's a rare oversight in a memoir and what a loss it is, when those people are so fascinating.

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