On the outside, Elaine is quiet, painfully shy, and proper; the result of living her life in her mother's shadow and burdened by her expectations. But there is one thing that sets Elaine apart, and that is her magnificent talent for French cuisine. She dreams of following in the footsteps of her idol, Julia Child, and attending Cordon Bleu in Paris. But her politician-feminist mother is aghast to learn that her daughter would aspire to fill the role of such a classic "women's job" and Elaine's dreams threaten to fade into nonexistence. Enter Lucida Sans. No, not the type face, but the eccentric, fame seeking, and enthusiastic girl—just the friend Elaine needs to bring out her true potential.
One word comes to mind when describing Dear Julia, and that is quirky. The entire novel is written in a very old fashioned, humorous, and charming style, but yet it works surprisingly well with the more modern influences of the book. Each and every character in unique and completely intriguing—from Elaine's cross-dressing brother, to the eccentric and lively Lucida Sans—and will provide more than a few laughs throughout the course of the plot. The story is richly filled with cooking vernacular and French phrases that may confuse the common reader, but Elaine's patient and very educational nature will ensure that the book doesn't become a drag. Dear Julia is a fun, feel-good read that is quick to amuse and inspire.