Have you had a book that you keep intending to read, maybe even started it, stopped, re-started and then forgot what was happening, so you go back a chapter? As Always, Julia is one of those books for me. This book took me a long time to read and not because I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it, but I would read and then needed to get to a book club book. Life just sometimes gets in the way. I finally am a bit ahead in my book club reading, so I dove back in and was determined to get it finished.
I was and am a Julia Child fan. She found her passion and then cooked her way into her culinary world. As Always, Julia is a beautifully written book by Joan Reardon, the book pulls you into the personal life of both Julia and Avis; and you will learn so much about these two women and their friendship.
Remember writing letters? I looked forward to getting the mail and looking for an envelope in my best friends, moms, sisters or even a grandmother’s handwriting. I would grab a cup of tea and sit for a few minutes to read these letters, treasuring their handwriting,their words and the time they spent to write. Letter writing is a lost art and it is really too bad. If we didn’t have these letters this part of Julia’s life would be lost.
As Always, Julia brings back those memories as you read each letter. As you read each letter, you can hear Julia’s voice. She talks cooking, kitchen gadgets, ingredients she can’t find in France, the people she meets, the cookbook, politics, and her life in Europe. Avis writes about her exciting life in the States, her family, the cooking she does, recipes of Julia’s she tries, politics and life in general. The friendship that develops between the two is fascinating. They are both independent, fiercely passionate about their politics and the political atmosphere in the States while Julia is in France.
Avis is instrumental in helping Julia get Mastering the Art of French Cooking published. Their friendship weathered the loss of spouses, Julia living abroad for much of the time and the hard work it took in getting the book published.
Not only is As Always, Julia a look into the lives of these women but a beautiful friendship and it all started with a simple letter to Bernard De Voto about his knife article.
The book is beautifully written and fascinating. If you followed Julia and her career, this is a must read.