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A Covert Affair by Jennet Conant
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A Covert Affair

by Jennet Conant

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Well written and seems to be well researched. Just be aware that probably 40% - 50% of the book is actually about Jane Foster, who also served in the OSS about the same time as the Childs. Her story is important because it helps understand the hysteria of the McCarthy era and the Red Scare. However, I thought too much space was devoted to this thread. ( )
  TerryLewis | Jun 12, 2017 |
A Covert Affair: The Adventures of Julia and Paul Child in the Oss – Jennet Conant
3 stars

The title of this book is misleading. The book is only peripherally about Paul and Julia Child. This is possibly the best thing that can be said about this uneven book. I could have gone without intimate excerpts of Paul Child’s letters which expounded on his ideal of the perfect woman. The parts of this book devoted to the growing Paul/Julia romance are uninteresting and frequently embarrassing.

The beginning of the book is an amusing and chatty romp through the formation of OSS operations in the Pacific. Conant does quite a bit of name dropping and it was interesting to learn of well-known anthropologists, ornithologists and botanists who were recruited to do their bit. This part of the book reminded me of Michener’s South Pacific.

At least two thirds of the book is devoted to Jane Foster, her work in the OSS, and her suspected role as a Soviet spy. A great deal of attention is paid to McCarthy era politics and investigations. Conant relates how Paul Child is questioned regarding his loyalty and his past relationship to Jane Foster. (It is exactly the story that appears in Julia Child’s My Life in France.) The rest of the book examines Jane Foster’s movements, defense and ultimate defection to France. It’s an interesting bit of Cold War history in which no one seems to come out looking clean.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
This book could have been a little bit better blurbed. The focus of the title is really Jane Foster and how knowing her and being friendly with her affected the Child's. About half way through I found myself getting frustrated with the focus on Jane Foster and the lack of information on Julia and Paul. If I'd had more realistic expectations regarding what the title was about I would have been happier with it (and possibly given it another star.)

The work this group did was definitely interesting and the work gives you a lot of insight into the development of Paul and Julia's relationship and eventual marriage. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
This book could have been a little bit better blurbed. The focus of the title is really Jane Foster and how knowing her and being friendly with her affected the Child's. About half way through I found myself getting frustrated with the focus on Jane Foster and the lack of information on Julia and Paul. If I'd had more realistic expectations regarding what the title was about I would have been happier with it (and possibly given it another star.)

The work this group did was definitely interesting and the work gives you a lot of insight into the development of Paul and Julia's relationship and eventual marriage. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
This book could have been a little bit better blurbed. The focus of the title is really Jane Foster and how knowing her and being friendly with her affected the Child's. About half way through I found myself getting frustrated with the focus on Jane Foster and the lack of information on Julia and Paul. If I'd had more realistic expectations regarding what the title was about I would have been happier with it (and possibly given it another star.)

The work this group did was definitely interesting and the work gives you a lot of insight into the development of Paul and Julia's relationship and eventual marriage. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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A stunning account of Julia Child's early life as an OSS agent in the Far East.

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