Wednesday, November 18, 2009


i'm probably not going to make it through this book. maybe it's just not my thing. maybe i've read too much about the cold war. maybe it's just not the right time.

the joie de vivre France is a bit much & it would probably be better if i read one of her cookbooks instead. i need only know that she was a great chef of french cuisine. less is more, i'm a big fan.

she & her husband Paul, both with OSS, met during WWII. they were later married and moved to Paris in 1948, just 3 years after WWII ended. there's no question she had a passion for cooking & that she worked really hard at cultivating her career. but she paints a picture of life France just after the war that i have difficulty believing.

i realize these are memoirs & i wasn't there so how do i know, etc., but her experiences read atypical of everything else i've ever read about Europe (both fact & fiction) during at least the first 10 years post WWII. she does mention "after the war", but only in quickly passing phrases as if to make sure we're moving too fast to notice anything that wasn't part of the gaie paris! program. what this did, for me anyway, is emphasize the wrong things, thereby de-emphasizing her cooking (in paris, at that particular time) which is the whole reason i wanted to read this book.

the photos, on the other hand, are a completely different story. they are amazing & intriguing & most were taken by her husband. to me, the more interesting story is told in those photos.

these are from the book, pulled from g00gle.

in their apartment kitchen

husband paul.

at le cordon bleu. in pearls.