Cleaving- Julie Powell: Julia Child was Right

I loved Julie Powell’s first book “Julie and Julia” (which we all know by now thanks to the Meryl Streep and Amy Adams film) is about a woman who spends a year cooking from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child and blogging about it.   What made Julie so irresistible to me was that she tried so hard.   I loved her imperfections: her not so impressive job, her crappy apartment, her salty language, her penchant for TV and strong drinks.   And I loved her husband, Eric and how much he cheered her on and believed in her and picked her up when she was falling apart.

Her follow up book: “Cleaving” centers around Julie’s apprenticeship in butchery.  Much like Julie and Julia, we get the detailed and not so pleasant facts about carving up an animal: lots of organ meat talk, way too much information for me on the parts of a side of beef and the slaughter of animals.  So I sort of skimmed through these parts.  (Some of it was fascinating, and I admired her dedication to the craft).  And I did find myself craving a steak so I can’t say it turned me Vegan.

In between the play by play of carving up a pig, the reader learns about Julie’s obsession with D. (D. should be for Dirtbag), who she cheats on Eric with for 2+ years and then mourns for him like a lovesick teenager.  Eric knows about it and doesn’t leave her.  Julie doesn’t leave Eric.

Instead, she leaves for the Argentina, the Ukraine and Tanzania, (a little “Eat Pray Love”-ish but not nearly as deep).   Just when I was about to give up on finishing the book, it was kind of fun to learn about the Ukraine and the people of Tanzania.

I know Julia Child thought Julie’s language was a little too salty and she declined to meet her in person.  I remember thinking that Julia was a little old fashioned.  Now I think I am with Julia.

Cleaving

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One response to “Cleaving- Julie Powell: Julia Child was Right

  1. Thank you for this review–saves me a read.

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