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Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Julie Powell thought cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the craziest thing she'd ever do--until she embarked on the voyage recounted in her new memoir,...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Couldn't finish it....

So poorly written and scattered, I put it down three quarters of the way through. This person and her antics prove no redeeming qualities. I can see why she's published nothing in years.

I would love to see this movie!

I almost didn't buy this book after reading the reviews but am so glad I did. I think Amy Adams would be perfect for the movie! I really enjoyed the detail as she describes her learning process and the honesty and courage she had in writing about her relationships.


When reading some of the reviews I think of Jack Nicholson "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH" I found the book to be a fascinating rendition of Julie's life, her struggles, trials, tribulations, etc. I found her ability to be totally honest refreshing in these times where even our past president isn't held to this level of accountability. Julie had a rough patch, she worked thru it the best way she could. She had self loathing which is obvious in her reaction to the near assault. She felt she deserved to be treated a certain way, a penance for her infidelities. I'd love to pass judgement on her, but honestly I can't, she only proved to us her total humanity. Thanks for such a good book, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I got it on CD and promptly donated it to our tiny small town library. Won't they be delighted?

Did I fall asleep and wake up in the wrong century?

I would have thought that a woman writing an honest and gutsy memoir about, among other things, her extramarital affairs would at least get a fair hearing. I find all this hate fest stuff very strange, and quite unnerving. (pitchforks, anyone?) Is there anyone out there who hasn't been engulfed by groupthink? If so, this book is quite worthwhile: frank (perhaps she does overshare a bit), well written, and even insightful. Her descriptions of our irrational behavior when we convince ourselves that we need some particular thing in order to be happy, and the crazy things we'll do as a result, the lies we'll tell ourselves - well, it's quite well done. So why is this book making people so nuts? I would have thought that couples have some right, nowadays, to decide what they want out of their own marriage, but apparently not - they need a marriage that conforms to the standards of random book reviewers. I hope that all this bile is some kind of weird outgrowth of the juxtaposition of women and cooking, and isn't reflective of the level of sexism in our society (still!!). I notice that someone in the comments section wrote that she wanted to read more about Julia Child (as opposed to the wicked Julie Powell), because Julia Child had a good marriage. Imagine! Julia Child was a fascinating woman, with all kinds of accomplishments, and she's to be valued for being lucky enough to have a good marriage. Sheesh. And Powell is not worth reading, because she isn't (in the eyes of the all-knowing wise ones who post reviews here) a good enough wife. Sheesh, again. Anyway, Julie Powell, we may forgive you if you get back in the kitchen (and stay there). Preferably barefoot. Sackcloth and ashes would help. Don't think for a moment that it's OK for you to be gallivanting around the world, because you have your marriage to think of, and even if your husband doesn't mind, it's our opinion that counts. And be sure, in the future, to write cheery upbeat stuff. Cutesy, you know. We, the reading public, aren't ready for anything bearing the remotest resemblance to real life, so don't even try that stuff with us. We're not exactly grownups, you may have noticed, and we don't want any challenges to our world view. And good writing doesn't cut any ice with us. We know it's `drivil' (i.e., we wouldn't know good writing if it bit us in the ankle). It's `dissapointing'. And you wouldn't want to disappoint mature discriminating people like us. P.S. As far as I know, writing is a `real job'. As is working as a butcher.

I loved this...

Sure, Julie Powell is far from perfect. Going into it, I knew this book was about an affair, etc. I thought it was a great read. While I can't relate to her infidelity, I can relate to her need to do her own thing. I haven't read Julie & Julia yet, so I will have to go back and read it.

The Imperfect Book That I Adored

Julie Powell is trouble. Ambitious, high-strung, insecure, she drinks way too much. Trail-blazing, independent, a homebody. And a self-promoter. Sexually needy. No, sexually compulsive! In short, she isn't Amy Adams. The story here should have been simple. Julie meets great acclaim and huge financial rewards after Julie & Julia. She seeks her next project d'food: learning butchery. Sounds like an easy pitch, doesn't it? Girl power in the abatoir! Buffy the liver-eater! However, money and fame don't seem to be working for her. Her marriage is a wreck, she's now an adulterer, and she's desperately unhappy. This is a messy, ambitious, funny memoir. It is one of the most moving and enlightening things I have read in a long time. True, her style of writing here is all over the map. Not a smooth read. Some of the language just sort of spills onto the page in a big emotional glop. The writing about cutting meat is technical and agonizingly detailed. And there are recipes here. And travel memoir stuff. And character-driven explorations of her relationships with her husband and her lover. But OF COURSE this memoir is stylistically fractured. That, apparently, was the experience of being Julie Powell during these years. I felt carried along by a mysterious inner logic that seemed to course through this book. And just when I thought Julie had lost me and had lost herself (during the travel memoir stuff) the book came full circle. And Julie Powell found some respite. Some centering. And the whole thing made sense. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
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