Being a foodie, it’s no surprise that I loved Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. The film adaptation directed by Nora Ephron starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams was equally as delicious. Oh, the butter. Powell’s sequel, however, was a bit disappointing. In Cleaving Powell juxtaposes her endeavor to become a skilled butcher with her failing marriage to Eric and her dodgy affair with “D.”
Although this memoir is honest, provocative, sassy, and at times humorous, filled with recipes, travel and food-talk, this is not the likeable Julie Powell from her previous bestseller. In fact, she’s annoying. She whines when her “mantress” (is there a male equivalent to mistress?) doesn’t pay attention to her while her husband who she totally disrespects waits around like a fawning dog. It is very hard to sympathize with her.
And there are just a few too many analogies and topics. Is this about food, butchery, marriage, independence? The first part is all about butchery but the last third is an Eat Pray Love-esque finding yourself travel guide. I think it would have been better had Powell stayed with one or two topics and turned this into a few books instead of a long tangential journal entry.
Although I’m not totally on Powell’s side with this one, I still enjoyed it. It’s entertaining, and her informal writing style coupled with the butchery stuff was interesting and even a little sexy. Honestly, I was sold on the cover alone. Who can resist a neon pink pig?