I was surprised to find out that Julie & Julia the movie was not solely adapted from Julie & Julia the book (which itself is based on The Julie/Julia Project the blog). The parts that were set in France of the 1950s, portrayed uncannily by Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, were drawn from My Life in France, written by Julia Child (just before she passed away) with her great-nephew Alex Prud’homme.
I just finished reading My Life in France, and I absolutely loved it. One of my favorite books. Ranks right up there with Michael Ruhlman’s The Making of a Chef and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I felt sad to put it down when I reached the end, and yet I couldn’t hold myself back from just plowing through it. Thankfully it was thick and meaty, weighing in at around 330 pages.
I somewhat expected it to be an abbreviated autobiography, covering only the years she lived in Paris and Marseilles, but it managed to encompass her whole life, with a lens on the most important and formative parts. The movie captures the general thrust, but the book delves further into her embrace of television (a new medium at the time), the second Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her winters spent in Provence.