The bestselling memoir that's "irresistible....A kind of Bridget Jones meets The French Chef" (Philadelphia Inquirer) that inspired Julie & Julia, the major motion picture directed by Nora Ephron, starring Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia.
Nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, Julie Powell reclaims her life by cooking every single recipe in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the span of one year. It's a hysterical, inconceivable redemptive journey -- life rediscovered through aspics, calves' brains and cré me brûlée.
Powell became an Internet celebrity with her 2004 blog chronicling her yearlong odyssey of cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A frustrated secretary in New York City, Powell embarked on "the Julie/Julia project" to find a sense of direction, and both the cooking and the writing quickly became all-consuming. Some passages in the book are taken verbatim from the blog, but Powell expands on her experience and gives generous background about her personal life: her doting husband, wacky friends, evil co-workers. She also includes some comments from her "bleaders" (blog readers), who formed an enthusiastic support base. Powell never met Julia Child (who died last year), but the venerable chef's spirit is present throughout, and Powell imaginatively reconstructs episodes from Child's life in the 1940s. Her writing is feisty and unrestrained, especially as she details killing lobsters, tackling marrowbones and cooking late into the night. Occasionally the diarist instinct overwhelms the generally tight structure and Powell goes on unrelated tangents, but her voice is endearing enough that readers will quickly forgive such lapses. Both home cooks and devotees of Bridget Jones style dishing will be caught up in Powell's funny, sharp-tongued but generous writing.
It grows on you
A character I found annoying as I don't like messy cooks, Julie grew on me as she cooked away. The secondary characters are also very funny. Powell is a light writer but can be very precise with her descriptions so the fun is in the details. And you feel glad she has found her calling at the end: there is hope for all of us.
Never thought I'd say this...
But the movie was better.
This book is definitely one of my new favorites. Powell's style of writing is hilarious and entrancing. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys cooking and doesn't mind a few "f-bombs" every now and then.