Wednesday, May 25, 2016

One Last Thing about Julia

paris, Eiffel Tower
Photo by Jöshua Barnett

Embarking on a Brief Tour of France (via biography)

At some point in the near future, I'll have to talk about the Agent-hosted Query Webinar I attended. But right now I'm in the midst of revising the query and a leetle over-queried in the brain.

And so I am way more interested in talking about Julia Child, peeking into others' lives, and taking a trip back through time.

french bread
Photo by Richard Allaway

Heartbreaking Moments

Obviously Julia Child is known for her cooking show and, apparently, cookbooks. Despite being a very loud and outgoing woman (as she described herself), she does seem to have a bit of that emotional reticence we associate with older people (sometimes rightly, sometimes not). Or maybe she just doesn't want to complain about a good and successful life.

At one point in the autobiography, she mentions that she had a stomach bug from India and that at first she thought she was finally pregnant. She doesn't say much more. I thought, "Oh, that's too bad."

Later came the few sentences that made me think there might be more to this story. When Julia's sister gets pregnant, she says:
I was so happy for her now that she was a full-fledged woman...
And maybe I'm reading way too much into her statement. Or perhaps she's reflecting more on society's expectations than her own desires, but I found that to be a very sad statement coming from a woman who was unable to have children. It made me wonder exactly how this upbeat, outgoing lady really felt about her inability to conceive and made me think it might have been a bit heartbreaking for her. Or maybe that was all just in my head.

red wine, paris
Photo by Vassil Tzvetanov

Time Travel and Guided Tours

Anyway, books are pretty amazing. They can give you glimpses into others' lives in other time periods, and that's sort of crazy.

With Julia Child, I toured through the slightly bleak, but mostly exuberant post-WWII France that was just starting to get back on it's feet. I visited kitchens and markets and experimental recipe-making (and got very hungry). I stepped into the Cordon Bleu and stopped by a few very well-to-do dinners.

I experience the suddenness with which McCarthy sprang into power and a tiny burst of Julia's panic and fear for her husband. And I also almost understood, for just one moment, the American fear of a Communist-held Europe.

The odd set of circumstances (and hard work) that led to Julia Child on Boston's first public access television station and eventually led to her famous television show.

Peoples' lives are just so darn interesting sometimes.

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