I am definitely a fan of Julia Child. I remember the thrill of the seeing her exhibit at the Smithsonian for the first time. I was so excited that you would have thought that she would actually have been there waiting to meet me. Growing up I had heard my mother rave about her and I do feel like reading Julie and Julia changed the trajectory of my life (that’s a long story, for another day). And while I enjoy watching her on television, and I actually really enjoyed reading My Life in France, I’m afraid that I was less than impressed with reading a new book about Julia Child. Alex Prud’Homme, Julia’s great nephew and My Life in France co-author sometimes struggles to keep the energy of readers with The French Chef in America: Julia’s Second Act (published by Random House LLC).
This book deals with the second half of Julia Child’s life. The French Chef in America becomes a darker tale than the previous work of Prud’Homme purely because it deals with Julia’s later years. The decline and loss of her beloved husband Paul are very sad. I understand that this is reality, but it’s not the best reading material for an emotional, very pregnant mommy. Perhaps if you’re made of stronger stuff and find encouragement and maybe even delight in people continuing to plan and grow professionally, you might like this book.
I also have to disclose that this is my first time listening to an audio book since I was about 12-years-old. The format simply doesn’t suit me anymore. I like to read at my own pace and take time for reflection or research or frankly repose from a trying section without having to fumble for my mouse and stop a recording. I’m usually a very quick reader, but sadly due to both content and format The French Chef in America felt like work.
I do think this book could be inspirational for some people, it just didn’t work for me. If you are looking for a gift for a Julia Child fan or maybe something to inspire someone’s second act success, this book would a good fit for you.
Kari Liked: I struggle to find a positive. Some of the White House specials behind-the scenes stories were interesting.
Kari Didn’t Like: I found this book sad and tedious. I did not personally care for it. I truly did not enjoy the audio recording at all.
(I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase from them a small amount will go toward the support of The He Said She Said Experience at no additional cost to you.)