By Bob Spitz
Alfred A. Knopf, $29.95, 557 pages

Bob Spitz works to cement his reputation as one of the premier celebrity biographers in Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child. Spitz traces the woman that so many of us know from our television sets from her earliest sun-filled days in California, through the her time at the Ivy Leagues, overseas with the OSS and finally to the kitchen, where she left her mark on her world. The author has a deft hand at showing the good and bad in all of his characters, including Julia, without being critical of the skills of anyone involved. Readers who are mostly interested in the cooking part of Julia’s life (which was the later part of her life) may find that descriptions of her early adventures drag a bit. The second half of the book flies by once Julia meets her husband Paul and starts to travel and cook. She goes from being Julia McWilliams, bored society hostess, to being the most famous cook in America and the book reflects the frantic pace of her life.

Reviewed by Katie Richards

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