Written by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme, the book “My Life in France” harmoniously combines features of an autobiography and cookery book. Being widely acclaimed by critics and immensely popular with readers, this work serves as a guide to the peculiar world of the French culinary art. Furthermore, in addition to the autobiographical details and recipes of the culinary delights, the book makes people ponder over the essence of interpersonal relationships, attitude to others, and prospects of self-improvement.
Events depicted in Volume II of the work portray Julia Child as a goal-oriented person who is dedicated to her work, intelligent, and able to perform objective self-evaluation. Her creeds and devotion to job are expressed in the words, “As always, my work gave my life form, forced me to be productive, and helped me to keep a good balance” (Child and Prud’homme 296). This statement has made the greatest impact on my understanding of the material. I was able to conclude that Julia was indefatigable; she enjoyed analyzing, sorting, and experimenting with different recipes. The latter are extremely useful skills in inventing new dishes and creating cookery books. Her aspirations for improvements and perfection are worth following for everybody irrespective of his profession, position, or occupation. While reading the book, I have realized that inventiveness, determined efforts, diligence, and dedication to work are the key steps to success.
“My Life in France” takes your breath away; the work is absorbing and clearly written. A reader becomes completely immersed in everything that happened to Julia Child, her husband, associates, and other characters. However, the terms used in the French language, such as “loup de mer en croute” (Child and Prud’homme 267) are sometimes abundant. Julia and her husband were fluent in French and could easily understand the recipes and French cooks (Child and Prud’homme 274). Therefore, the names of different French dishes occur very frequently. Although they strengthen the fascination of the French cuisine, such words aggravate the process of reading a little; those who cannot speak this language or are not very skillful in cooking experience certain difficulties in understanding the content. However, despite being rather challenging, the occurrence of these terms forced me to look them up in dictionaries that has increased my awareness of the magic world of the French culinary art.
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Volume II of Child’s book implicitly discusses correlations between the food safety and its taste. In order to provide customers with healthy instructions for cooking the “true French bread”, Julia was able to acknowledge her mistake and refused to use potentially carcinogenic tiles in her simulated baker’s oven (Child and Prud’homme 283). Humans’ health is inextricably linked with food they eat. Having made every effort, Julia invented other ways to bake both delicious and healthy French bread. However, the usefulness and safety of different dishes are not in the limelight of the book. Taking into account the importance of the current issues of obesity and various digestive disorders, this particular feature of “My Life in France” can be identified as a shortcoming.
While reading the book, I have realized that collaboration is extremely important in business initiatives in general and creating a cookbook in particular. Julia’s relationships with the others, including her husband, Simca, TV producers, local merchants, Provencal peasants, and so forth, are characterized by the amicable spirit, sociability, mutual respect, and cooperativeness. Without these personal characteristics, she would not be able to guess sophisticated French recipes and become so skillful and experienced in cooking.
In conclusion, “My Life in France” by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme is undoubtedly worth reading. It provides readers with unique opportunities to unravel the mystery of the French culinary delights. In addition to secrets of the art of the French cooking, the book teaches how to be effective in the interpersonal relationships and become masters at work.