Biographies Blogmas 2019 Book Review

Julie and Julia – Julie Powell

I didn’t dislike this, but I’m not sure I loved it either.

I’m still processing my thoughts.

Julie and Julia is the memoir of a woman named Julie Powell who decides that she would attempt to cook every recipe from Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ within one year.

I thought this would be a fun, year-long, challenge-focused book. Curious as to why the author would set herself this particular challenge, and what she hoped to gain from completing it, I decided to give it a go.

Unfortunately, for the majority of the book the author herself didn’t know why she decided to do this. Which is fine, we don’t always need reasons to do things however, then why be so strict with herself?

At one point she was so upset and angry with herself for being unable to make this mayonnaise (or some kind of sauce) that she started yelling and throwing things around the kitchen. At this point she was aware her husband was in the next room, concerned and attempting to contact his family because there was some sort of natural disaster where they lived however, he was unable to reach them.

Perhaps she was also concerned for her family-in-law and it was just the sauce which bore the brunt of her anger however, unfortunately this doesn’t come across in her writing, so I can’t say for sure.

Though I don’t believe it was every formally said, it is implied that the reason the author took on this challenge is because, at the age of 29, her life hadn’t quite turned out as expected. She moved to New York to become an actress and was instead working as a secretary.

It’s made clear that she didn’t enjoy her job, stating several times that she was “just a secretary” however, I’m sure there are a lot of secretaries who do love their job, so perhaps it was more-so that she had a plan, and now she doesn’t. Making the recipes, setting herself the challenge gave her some kind of focus, something she could achieve.

Though once again, I’m unsure.

There was no real revelation with this book either.

Towards the author said she felt like things just ended. Back to regular schedule programming?

She stated that she felt like Julia Child saved her life however, she doesn’t say how or why she felt this way.

Yes, this challenge and blog provided a spring-board to get her name out there, not as an actress but a writer, and so she no longer works as a secretary and is doing something she enjoys. That’s great, fantastic! However, the author couldn’t have known this would happen.

So what else changed?

Has your outlook on life changed solely due to this challenge alone? Without the added bonuses of book deals and career shifts?

What did you learn from this experience? Besides Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Admittedly, I wasn’t sure who Julia Child was when I first started reading this book. The author stated that everyone probably knew who she was and why she was so well known. A friend at work filled me in a little however, if I’ve gained anything from reading this, it’s that I’d perhaps like to read Julia Child’s autobiography and learn a little more about her.

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