Vote It Up: Book Blip

January 5, 2010


I have been defending Julie Powell against criticism for a week now. On Thursday, I shopped the mall dry with gift cards and holiday money only to run out when I went to the crappy mall bookshop to purchase her new memoir, Cleaving. So, I spent my own money - money, that I need to be saving for my daughter's ballet lessons or that stack of medical bills I ignored through Chanucka and Christmas - to purchase the book. I had to have it before I finished Julie & Julia so I could transition without a hiccup between books. Now, four chapters into Cleaving I'm ready to take a butcher knife to her!

The book follows Powell's obsession to find a butcher willing to apprentice her as she learns the art of cutting livestock into meat. I'm no longer a vegetarian, but I do eschew red meat and most pork products (having grown up Kosher), unless we're talking salty meat. I can't resist a good salami, pepperoni, or even, my bubbie is shaking her finger from the grave as I write this, a keilbasa. I am fascinated, albeit disgusted, by Powell's descriptive hatchet work on a side of beef or pig rump; it's her personal life that is making me want to commit violence. I knew ahead of time that she had an affair and wrote about it in the book. I emphatically did not know that she tortured her husband with her not so illicit affair through college and then 9 years into their marriage, with the same man (known only as "D"). I feel no pity for her, for her husband, Eric, who spinelessly allows the cheating to happen and only responds by spending the night with a series of nameless women. I have read on to discover how a grown woman could ricochet between two men without remorse, but four chapters in I haven't learned much. At least the last sentence I read before turning out the light last night was, "I just need to get over myself." Amen to that, lady!

Here's hoping the book improves, as does Powell's common sense and sense of decency towards her marriage. I still stand by my comments about Julie & Julia.

No comments:

Post a Comment