Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession

Julie Powell

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession

Julie Powell thought cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the craziest thing she'd ever do - until she embarked on the voyage recounted in her new memoir, Cleaving. Her marriage challenged by an insane, irresistible love affair, Julie decides to leave town and immerse herself in a new obsession: butchery. She finds her way to Fleischer's, a butcher shop where she buries herself in the details of food. She learns how to break down a side of beef and French a rack of ribs - tough, physical work that only sometimes distracts her from thoughts of afternoon trysts. The camaraderie at Fleischer's leads Julie to search out fellow butchers around the world - from South America to Europe to Africa. At the end of her odyssey, she has learned a new art and perhaps even mastered her unruly heart. 3.2 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Food & Drink
Format Paperback
Pages 320
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication August 2009
ISBN 978-1905490479
Publisher Fig Tree
 

Julie Powell thought cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the craziest thing she'd ever do - until she embarked on the voyage recounted in her new memoir, Cleaving. Her marriage challenged by an insane, irresistible love affair, Julie decides to leave town and immerse herself in a new obsession: butchery. She finds her way to Fleischer's, a butcher shop where she buries herself in the details of food. She learns how to break down a side of beef and French a rack of ribs - tough, physical work that only sometimes distracts her from thoughts of afternoon trysts. The camaraderie at Fleischer's leads Julie to search out fellow butchers around the world - from South America to Europe to Africa. At the end of her odyssey, she has learned a new art and perhaps even mastered her unruly heart.

Reviews

The Sunday Times

Camilla Long

Powell’s book is highly readable, but there is something about it that doesn’t quite hang together... Powell herself is not a terribly sympathetic figure — it’s difficult to feel for her as she mistreats her husband — and I am not sure the backdrop of butchery always works... Ultimately, Powell is saved by her beautiful writing, effortlessly filling pages with virtuoso descriptions of animal slaughter and human travail.

09/08/2009

Read Full Review


The Daily Mail

Jane Shilling

As long as Powell's story stays within the picturesque micro-community of Fleisher's, all is well. Her narrative is vivid, well-structured, intense and moving. It is when she ventures out into the untidy precinct of the rest of her life that things go wrong… The travelogue has a perfunctory air of being tacked on to the main narrative as a makeweight. It also has the unlucky side-effect of leaving us more or less alone with Powell and her marital difficulties. Unresolved as these are, they do not lend themselves well to elegant story-telling.

20/08/2009

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore