Published by Penguin in 2007
Challenges - Fall Into Reading.
I decided to read this book because I was desperate for a light read last week, after such a harrowing week with my father -in-laws funeral. This book definitely filled that category, although I did find an underlying current of sadness within the book, which I wasn't aware of in the reviews of it.
If you haven't heard of this book which has now been made into a movie, then you must have had your television stolen!
This is the true story of Julie Powell, a temp in an office, who feels her life is going nowhere. She wants children, but has been told she may never have them. She is completely unfulfilled in her job and wants to find her future path.
On a whim, she decides to cook all the recipes in Julia Child's legendary cook book 'Mastering The Art of French Cooking'. This book has 524 recipes in, which Julie decides to complete within a year and blog about each recipe. From her blog, this book was born.
I found it a fascinating story as you read Julie's life in parallel with Julia Child's. Both women find their way in life through French cooking. Julie Child takes up French cooking as a hobby and becomes a very famous chef with a line in books and programmes. Julie, by following Julie Child's cookbook finds a new career as a writer. It is amazing to think that French cooking managed to changed both of their lives so dramatically. Near to the end of the book, you are told about Julia Child's reaction to Julie's blogging project and she wasn't very happy about it. It seems so sad, as you would have thought they would have had a really strong connection to each other.
Now I mentioned earlier, about an undercurrent of sadness within the book. Julie worked for the government agency in charge of building a memorial for 9/11. Her office overlooked Ground Zero and the book begins several months after 9/11. You are told about how the staff deal with the grieving relatives and friends, especially in the run up to the first anniversary. I found this so sad to read about and you cannot help but wonder if the events of 9/11 had an unconscious effect on Julie which set her on her road to discovery.
I enjoyed this book a lot, I found it to be a really easy read. I did find that occasionally the story went off on a tangent and I got a little confused as to what was going on, but other than that it was good. I know a lot of people were offended by the language in the book, but I didn't feel that it was overbearing at all. I felt you were just witnessing Julie letting off steam. I found it funny and definitely very entertaining. I could see elements of me in Julie, with her high maintenance attitude and leanings towards high drama.
I would definitely recommend reading this book, if you love cooking, laughing and being a voyeur in somebody else's life.