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.

8 comments:

Nina (Femme Rationale) said...

well, her husband was cheating on her, as well, so she's not the only wrong-doer. apparently their lovers are completely out of the picture and now they're working on saving their marriage. we'll see...

Analiese Marie said...

Thanks for the review. I am tempted to read it just out of curiosity, but at the same time, I'm repelled. To be honest, I wasn't wild about her character even in Julie & Julia (moreso the film than the book), so I don't know if I could stomach this...

Bonjour Madame said...

I'm glad you reviewed this. I didn't care for her book on Julia Child but I LOVED the movie! I like the new look of your blog.

Zell said...

I agree with Analiese, except the book Julie & Julia didn't bother me quite as much as the movie. The movie became really irritating aside from the Julia parts with Meryl Streep (LOVE her!!!). Thanks for the review- i may hold off reading this one until i get to the dozens of other books on my list, though :) -Hilary

Wishful Nals said...

hmm, very interesting. thank you for sharing! xo

Lindsey Lou! said...

If her character in the movie is any indication or inclination to her character in the book, Julie & Julia, or her character in real life...yikes. Just...yikes.

Suburban Princess said...

Goodness I couldnt stand her in J&J with all of her crying on the kitchen floor!

mormar said...

I felt exactly the same way about the book and about Powell. I purchased Cleaving as my first Kindle read.