Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell



Pages 307

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.


15 comments:

  1. I'm not into cooking but definitely loves laughing... This book sounds good!

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  2. Oh, you're so lucky, I wanna read this book SO BAD! Thanks for the review!

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  3. This sounds like an interesting read. I hate cooking, love laughing - being a voyeur in somebody else's life, umm? So perhaps it's a book for my wish list. Thanks for the review.

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  4. Love cooking, yup. Laughing, yup. And being a voyeur in somebody else's life, Hell yes. Sounds like I'd love this book. Can't understand Julia Childs reaction to the blog - more advertising for her I would have thought. You'd be flattered if someone did that surely. I wonder what she made of the film.

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  5. I listened to the audio version of this and the potty mouth did get to me after a while. It probably wouldn't have affected me as much in print.

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  6. Have you seen the movie? Based on other reviews, I don't think I'd enjoy the book, but I LOVED the movie. I have total girl crushes on Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, though, so that might have something to do with it. ;)

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  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. I saw the movie but didn't read the book. The movie actually inspired me to check out Mastering the Art of French Cooking from the library. This is the cookbook Julia Child is writing (with her French cohorts) in the movie.

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  8. I loved this book, too! I took it with me on vacation and read it very quickly. I also loved the movie.

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  9. Sounds very enjoyable. I got to see Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian while I was in DC for the National Book Festival. Fun stuff.

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  10. I agree with you that it was a fun and entertaining book. I liked Julia Child's "My Life in France" more, but I think that's because it was more of a complete biography, and I really didn't know that much about Julia Child prior to reading it.

    I thought the movie was enjoyable too.

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  11. I've got this one on my bookshelf just waiting to be read - get in line though, you know. Still I'm looking forward to reading this one, hopefully somewhat soon!

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  12. This book really appealed to me. I'm happy to see that you enjoyed it as well.

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  13. I'm glad you enjoyed this book as I still have it in my piles of books to read!

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  14. This one sounds good, great review!
    I'd like to read it, then watch the movie.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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  15. I'd like to read this book. I hadn't read about 9/11 connection either, that's interesting.

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