Saturday, 28 September 2013



My friend Jess recommended this book to me one day when we were talking about blogging. I'd seen the film advertised before had no real idea what the story was about and had never read anything by the author, Julie Powell, before so I gratefully accepted it and decided to sit down and see whether it was for me or not.

I'm going to jump straight in: this book is essentially about food blogging - before blogging in general became as popular as it is now - and details the trials and tribulations of one New Yorker, Julie, who tackles the dated and  recipes in Mastering The Art Of French Cooking written by Julia Childs. Autobiographical, it charts Julie's journey from the conception and beginning of 'The Project' (as she refers to it) through to the end of it. It touches on blogging as that's how Julie chooses to document her successes and failures with the recipes but runs alongside the issues happening in her personal life too - everything from her mundane job temping to her relationship with her husband.

Interspersed with Julie's story are (partially imagined) exerts from Julia Child's life. I think the idea is to try and show how cooking helps them to develop within their personal lives and to some extent there is a feeling that they're very much in sync. However, the exerts about Julia Childs are fewer than expected for a novel called 'Julie and Julia' so I felt that whilst I knew what was happening in Julie's life at all times a lot was left to the imagination when it came to Julia.

It's an extremely honest prose - it feels as though Powell is really confiding in the reader with thoughts about topics that are, on occasion, a little below the belt. It's also comical but not laugh-out-loud. The humor is dry and sometimes dark.

Whilst I found that the story didn't go anywhere - it was just a lot of food and thoughts - I did enjoy reading it. I was a refreshing change from the usual types of books with their wrapped up endings and their linear plot lines. I do think it's one to approach with an open mind though - don't expect anything from it and you'll get a lot out of it. If you go into reading it with expectations then you may be left disappointed. I still haven't watched the film so I can't compare them but when I have I'll report back as I have it on good authority that it's a great film.

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell is available from Amazon.

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