Similar to another American diplomat's wife, Julia Child, Ann finds comfort and belonging through cooking and learning about France through dishes. She interviews and learns from chefs whose recipes and methods have been handed down from generations.
While I had not heard of half of the dishes Ann journeys to find, nor would I honestly care to try them, I am fascinated by her time in Paris and France. In my opinion, she talks about Roquefort one too many times for my taste. And anyone who truly loves Roquefort (whose mold can only be grown in certain caves, yes, caves) and Camembert, well, I have to question her sanity.
Needless to say, she weaves her newfound culinary knowledge with her memoirs as a diplomat's wife whose husband is then quickly sent to Iraq alone for a year. Many of us, alone in a foreign country may stick to what we know, but Ann channels her inner Julia Child and learns to perfect boeuf bourguignon instead.