Ok, so this is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I mean come on, after watching the movie with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, I think everyone wanted to: A. create a blog, B. learn to cook C. read the book! For me, I was less interested in venturing into the kitchen and more intrigued by the story behind this quirky little woman from Texas. And since I just started this blog I need all the inspiration I can get!
Ok, here comes the inevitable warning:
HERE IS WHERE YOU STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SPOIL THIS BOOK!
I WASH MY HANDS OF ALL RESPONSIBILITY
During the first portion of the book, I found myself relating to Julie in a crazy way! She married her high-school sweetheart (I’m not married, but stay with me) and her friends make fun or patronize her about being so inexperienced. I relate to that so much!!! I have not experienced much in the relationship area. My first crushes and relationships were fictional, with fictional characters. *thinking to myself that I could have kept that thought to myself* Moving on…anyway. Julie is quirky, cute, and unmotivated. I also can relate to this. She’s melodramatic. Been there! She sets boundaries on herself and then when she can’t meet them she has a meltdown. Sounds like my twin. #relatable
So, yeah. Julie is super relatable. Then she takes a bit of a left in the first third of the book where she describes a friend of hers (acquaintance that gets on her nerves) who shares too much. Not until after I finished this unnecessarily long section did I realize that Julie was internally questioning how much of her personal life she should share in her blog. It was tied in a neat bow, but I felt the ribbon was too long. (You should know, we tell dad jokes around here! Get used to it.)
One of the weird quirks about this book is the way Julie relates the directions in MtAoFC (Mastering the Art of French Cooking) to the way a smut novel reads. 😳 🙈 It’s a weird thought but when you think about it the number of times words like “hindquarters” and “braised” get used in recipes, it does give it that naughty tone. 😂
Anywho, something else I like about Julie is how she took a philosophical tone while trying to figure out her life during the story. When a friend of hers decided to break up with her husband to be with a man she hardly knew halfway across the world, Julie judged her at first. Her friend said she “had to be cruel in order to rescue her life.” Then Julie thought what the hell if it makes her friend happy, why not live your life to the fullest!? In fact, she thought for a moment if her friends were right. Was she too inexperienced? Did she get married too early? Was she missing out? Or was she just losing her mind because her rice wouldn’t cook in the Juiliaesque way and she hadn’t had hot water in her shower for almost a week?! Julie wondered if, “rescuing our lives was really what we were doing.” I question my life and my decisions in this way all the time. I’m sure you do too. It’s difficult to not wonder if your life would be better if you’d taken an alternative route. In a moment of weakness, and stress, Julie thought maybe she wanted to cross over to the other side with her friend, but in her own words, “Then morning came, the water came on, I made love to my husband who is also my partner, and the curtain closed, with Isabel (her friend) forever on the other side…” I interpret this thought to mean that eventually, you remember who you are and forget being lost, confused and angry at the world. And after all, isn’t that what truly counts, for you to feel at home in your own skin. If you can figure that part out, nothing else matters.
Something I didn’t like about this book or the author, she is EXTREMELY CLOSE-MINDED. She apparently worked for a company that had a lot to do with the aftermath of 9-11. Interestingly enough a lot of them were Republicans. You could hardly get through one page without her making some stereotypical remark that displayed her fantastic hypocrisy and ignorance. She painted every Republican as heartless, mindless, knuckle-dragging idiots/monsters. I know very well there are some Republicans that fit this description to a T. However, I could name a few Democrats who could wear that shoe because it fits just fine. This is not a political blog but if there is anything I can’t stand it’s stereotyping and close-minded assumptions. I should know, I have a bad habit of doing this. Perhaps that’s why Julie gets on my nerves when she does this. She reminds me of me. When you lump an entire group of people together based on one factor you miss SO MUCH! There are amazing and shi**y people everywhere. I know, I wish there was a manual that told us who was worth spending time with and who wasn’t but that’s just not how it works. You have to go out there and meet people and make a decision on an individual basis. I know, it sucks. You’re going to love it! (Random Friends quote)
I would give this book about 4.5 stars because at the end of the day she was a scared little girl who took the leap and did something crazy on a whim. It was something she always wanted to do. She dreamed, she tried, she failed, she got up, she tried again, and she remembered she was more than that scared little girl. She was more, she could do more. Now she could dream again.