The French Chef in America, Julia Child’s Second Act is a hearty, personal narrative about Julia Child’s adventures in France following her meteoric rise to fame in the United States in the 1960s. Alex Purd’Homme provides a warm and inviting narration from his interactions with his grandaunt, Mrs. Julia Child.
The book is peppered with personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories that cannot be found in any other accounts of Mrs. Child’s contributions to the cooking world, and greater American culture. There are photographs throughout the book that illustrate key moments in the story, but not too many that the text itself is diluted or detracted from in any way. This book, unlike many other accounts of how Julia Child rose to fame, tracks her personal interactions with family, friends, and celebrities alike while she privately dealt with her beloved husband’s declining health. The French Chef in America is part love story, part historical narrative with just the right amount of humor and pizzaz to keep a reader engaged. In more ways than one, this novel is truly Mrs. Child’s “second act,” and perhaps more moving in strength and personal growth than her first, when she became America’s first female celebrity chef. Overall, this is a really wonderful read that celebrates a woman who balanced family, work, and play, while still always having something scrumptious simmering in the kitchen. If you’re looking for a keepsake to give a cooking aficionado, or are just looking for a hearty read about a strong female, this is your book!
I was provided a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion about it; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
tldr; Hearty read about a strong female American icon.
Score Card: Cover Art: 4.5/5 | Content: 4.5/5 | Ease of Read: 5/5