Monday, January 25, 2010
Cleaving: A Review
As I mentioned earlier, I purchased Julie Powell's second memoir, Cleaving, in audiobook form off Amazon for approximately $5. It was a steal. Saturday, whilst browsing through the book section at Target, I saw that the hardback version was on sale for only $10. Hmm... I'm not in the publishing industry, but it would seem to me that if a new book is selling for SO cheap, it can't be a good sign, right?
There is much criticism surrounding Cleaving, and I can see why. Cleaving is nothing like Julie & Julia except that it involves food and Powell's marriage to high-school sweetheart, Eric. This time, Powell opens up her love of buchery and her crazy 2-year affair with "D", the other man in her life (whom, by the way, she thanks alongside Eric, her hubby, in the acknowledgements. The nerve...).
Here are my thoughts... in a way, I enjoyed Cleaving. It's interesting, the storyline kept me engaged, and despite all who disagree, I like Powell's writing. Now, that being said, I can see why so many people, well, hate her now. She is a completely unsympathethic character, ridiculously childish, pathetically insecure, and scarily promiscuous. You wonder why on earth her husband is still with her. You want to slap her and shake her and basically throw her in the corner until she realizes the error of her ways.
And yet... the story is intriguing, as is any story about adultery (esp when the woman is committing it), and her descriptions of buchery and travel are well-written. Powell transports you, whether it's into her kitchen or into her tent in Tanzania, where a large African man forces himself upon her (yes, she goes there). So, all in all, I'm glad I read/listened to it. And now, I will gladly sell my CD's to Half-Price Books and pray that Powell's next venture, a fiction novel, has nothing to do with meat or sex. I've had enough.