I’ve read many biographies of Julia Child over the years, including Appetite for Life, the first, comprehensive one by my friend, Noel Riley Fitch (published in 1997 and reprinted this year with a new intro by the author). My library also includes Alex Prud’Homme’s My Life in France (an account of Julia’s years in Paris and Marseilles in late 1940s and early 1950s), As Always, Julia, (the fascinating correspondence between Julia and her pen pal, Avis DeVoto) by Joan Reardon, and finally Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia (the story of a fledging cook, making her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking I). Now comes a new volume–Dearie-The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spritz.
You’d think after all the pages I’ve turned I’d find little to discover in another book on America’s cooking legend, but you’d be wrong. Dearie is filled with richly narrated details, penned by an author who describes Julia’s extraordinary life with the same energy and passion that she led it. In her privileged youth, Julia was a cut-up, a party girl, struggling to find focus. She worked in retail for a short while, but eventually found herself with a job in the Far East during WWII. That’s where she met her future husband, Paul Child, who opened the door to food and cooking for this woman with an insatiable appetite for life and all things culinary. In Dearie Bob Sptiz defines those qualities that turned Julia into an American icon. She was witty, curious, adventurous, a tireless worker, and a romantic. Most of all she was down to earth, and with her charm and fervor made us all feel we could cook like her.
Dearie – The Remarkable Life of Julia Child
by Bob Spitz