I’m halfway through “Julie and Julia,” Julie Powell’s chronicle of the year she spent cooking through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I can perhaps too easily relate to her sense of frustration and aimlessness at the beginning of the book (when she decides to start The Project), and I find it sort of strange that she was going through her Cooking Metamorphosis around the same time I “gave up” (as if it meant something to me) my financial services career. Somehow, though, I’m so glad I just went to culinary school.
Though Powell’s writing is sarcastic, entertaining, and witty, the way she interjects her (and her friends’) personal life into the text between bouts with a marrow bone drives me crazy. Is the book about your cooking trial, or about your (sometimes boring) friends? I want to know about the cooking, and perhaps a bit on how it affects her life. I do not care about her friend Isabel’s relationship with her new British lover. The dichotomy between what are to me two different stories makes me wonder if she’s the slightest bit schizophrenic.
Or perhaps it’s just my own lack of reading skill. I get so attached to one of her stories that I’m frustrated when she launches into another before finishing the first.