This week I read Julie & Julia (365 days, 524 recipes, ` tiny apartment kitchen), written by Julie Powell (C)2005, Little Brown
This is the author’ own story about the woes of turning 30, having a dead end job and searching for meaning in life. To save her self, she starts a blog and decides to shake things up by taking a year to cook her way through the entire Mastering the Art of French Cooking. All manner of food issues, kitchen issues and martial strife incur.
I was all set to love this book. Really love this book. It makes me sad that I don’t love it.
When the movie came out, I loved it – watched it several times in the theater and everything. At that time I didn’t know about this book (obv. why I am just reading it now), but did read Julia Child’s “My Life In Paris” (contributing factor to this book), and “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. This is one of those times, I feel like this is a case of “should have read the book before I saw the movie”.
In many ways I am like Julie Powell. I’m in my early 30’s, in a day job that isn’t my dream, and I’m searching for my life’s true path. I also love Julia Child, cooking and have a kitchen whose mess I am always trying to battle. There are so many parts about Julie (and the book) that speak to my life as well, and there fore, I should have enjoyed it more.
I think my problem is that the book is written like a novel, but is a re-telling of a blog, interspersed made up scenes from Julia Child’s life (and Paul Child’s letters to his brother). If it was just a novel, or just a memoir – and there fore had a corresponding voice, it would have been more toward my liking. Also, in some ways (much like a blog, I suppose), the story seems to be carried from one mood swing to another. The happy or triumphant parts of the story, seem paled in comparison to the frequent disaster, turned “my life is over” moments.
In the end, I was merely reading just to finish the book – not so much enjoying it.
For me, I think I just enjoyed the movie too much – and enjoy Julia Child more than Julie Powell.
That being said, and this being a blog/memoir – I don’t want to judge on the Author or her life – but I do think Julie Powell does have a style and voice that would lend it’s self well to novels, and I am going to give myself another shot with her.