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Review: Mastering the Art of French Eating

October 15, 2013

Mastering the Art of French Eating

Ever since she was a young girl, Ann Mah longed to live in France so it was like a dream come true when her diplomat husband was assigned to a post in Paris.   As they’re getting settled, Mah’s husband is sent on a year-long unaccompanied tour in Baghdad.  Mah is lonely and worried and realizes she needs something to fill her time.  She decides to explore some famous French cuisine and travels to the regions where they originated.  She shares the story of that year in her memoir, Mastering the Art of French Eating.

I was completely charmed by this book, which is about so much more than French cuisine.  It’s the story of a shy, unassuming woman who decides that rather than wallow in her sorrow she’s going to take advantage of the opportunity that’s been presented to her.   She goes in with a positive attitude but freely shares the travails as well as the triumphs of her year.  Her writing is open and honest and I felt like I was with her every step of the way.

Mah is curious about ten different well known French foods and goes straight to the source to learn more about them.  We lived in France for two years so I am familiar with most of the foods she writes about and freely admit that I find several of them unappealing but Mah’s writing made me care about them.  I enjoyed her encounters with the French and the peek into her personal life – past and present.  This book is a must read for Francophiles, those who enjoy memoirs, and foodies!

Mozhan Marno does an excellent job narrating the audio version of Mastering the Art of French Eating.  Her French is outstanding and it felt like she was telling me a story rather than reading me a book. The nine hours just flew by and I hated for the book to end!

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
26 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    October 15, 2013 6:43 am

    I HAVE to read this! I first fell in love with the whole French experience with A Year in Provence (if you haven’t read it you must) and then My Life in France with Julia Child and the graphic novel French Milk! And they all revolve around food, of course. I’m off to my library website RIGHT NOW!

  2. Beth F permalink
    October 15, 2013 7:01 am

    I have this in audio and hope to get to it next.

  3. October 15, 2013 7:02 am

    Oh you make this sound so good Kathy-thanks

  4. October 15, 2013 8:17 am

    You had me at the title. This sounds amazing! Gotta get it!

  5. October 15, 2013 9:34 am

    Sounds like a book I would love!

  6. October 15, 2013 10:28 am

    Yes sometimes even if you don’t like the food being described, I think a food memoir is very enjoyable!

  7. talesofwhimsy permalink
    October 15, 2013 11:35 am

    This sounds fun. I love the title.

  8. October 15, 2013 12:39 pm

    Your review makes this book sound very appealing! I think I’d enjoy it as well. Love the title! 🙂

  9. Patty permalink
    October 15, 2013 3:05 pm

    It truly sounds wonderful…thanks to you!

  10. October 15, 2013 5:51 pm

    I love this sort of book. Memoirs are just so much fun 🙂

  11. October 15, 2013 6:43 pm

    Sounds really interesting!

  12. October 15, 2013 8:31 pm

    This book sounds pretty delightful. Sounds like a good one for the car!

  13. October 16, 2013 8:07 am

    I suspected that this book would be right up my alley. Memoir yes. French yes. Food yes. How do people get such opportunities? It always astonishes me. Why don’t I get the chance to live in France?

  14. October 16, 2013 12:01 pm

    Food memoirs are so much fun to read and it sounds like this one was a hit with you. I will keep an eye out for this book at my library!

  15. October 16, 2013 4:10 pm

    I normally do not read non-fiction, but you made this sound SO appealing! Putting it on my list-thanks!

  16. October 16, 2013 4:51 pm

    Mah’s true life story actually reminds me a lot of Julia Child’s. I’m sure I’d love this, I shall have to look out for it. The last foodie book I read was a recipe book, so I’m overdue a biography. 🙂

  17. October 16, 2013 9:04 pm

    I love food memoirs and am glad to hear this one is so good on audio!

  18. bookingmama permalink
    October 17, 2013 6:38 am

    This one is up next for me as soon as I finish a short audio! Can’t wait!

  19. October 17, 2013 7:06 am

    This is my kind of book. I’d like to listen to it on audio rather than reading it though, especially since the audio is good.

  20. October 17, 2013 9:52 am

    I tend to prefer memoirs and other books that take me to new places and discuss food!

  21. October 17, 2013 2:39 pm

    I enjoy foodie-type memoirs, and this one sounds fantastic!

  22. October 18, 2013 9:43 am

    A year in France discovering its scrumptious cuisine… sounds like a book I need to read!

  23. October 19, 2013 5:13 am

    I think I would sooo enjoy reading this book! I will put it on my TBR list. I love books about France & food…. I love French food. That’s why I just need to go to France from time to time. Fortunately it’s not that faraway. Thanks for sharing the book!

  24. October 20, 2013 4:41 am

    Oh wow. This sounds fantastic. Going to rec it to a friend who’s going to Paris next month.

  25. October 21, 2013 12:23 am

    I do so like reading about food so this is definitely me.

  26. October 22, 2013 10:10 pm

    When we visited it I didn’t love the food (in my defense I was pregnant and couldn’t have the wine or cheese). One day I’ll have to try again 🙂

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