“Julie and Julia : 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen” by Julie Powell
Julie Powell felt she was in a rut. Turning thirty, dead end temp secretary job, crappy loft apartment and trouble with her husband. On a visit home, she finds her mothers copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 50th Anniversary Edition and decides to cook every recipe in the book. In one year. And write about it online.
The book was not what I expected. I was expecting a book about the author’s love of cooking and her experiences and challenges cooking in a decades old style. But instead, the book doesn’t discuss the actual cooking much at all. Instead, the book is about the author, her friends and her emotional challenges.
The writing is good, the book is entertaining and engaging and the author’s friends add some interest. However, the book isn’t a ‘stand out’ in the genre. And the author doesn’t come off as likable. She doesn’t seem to like anybody or anything. Even taking into account the fact that the author is a 20 something living in New York, she still seems very hateful. She takes several opportunities to display her dislike and actually promotes violence towards them. She hates her job and the people she works for, but I guess it’s typical for a temp secretary to think she knows better how to run a government agency.
One odd thing about the book is the author’s husband, Eric. We learn about Julie’s friends, Isabelle, Gwen, her mother, her brother; but we don’t learn much about Eric. He’s in virtually every scene, yet he remains a mystery.
Overall, a cute and entertaining book but lacks substance and leaves the reader wanting more.