Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession by Julie Powell B-
I love the way Cleaving goes against the grain and shatters the image of sweet little Julie Powell (aka Amy Adams) from the film Julie and Julia. This book will undoubtedly turn a few people off while intriguing others.
Julie and Julia was a good film and Meryl Streep was absolutely amazing, but Julie is a real person with real problems and very real desires. This book draws a nice parallel between butchering and the butchering of her marriage even though I found it difficult to wrap my head around the violent art of breaking down meat, frenching ribs, bleeding pigs, etc...
Having met Julie many years ago and remembering her stunning charisma, that only added to the dramatic effect of what I was reading. The gravity of her situation - a lustful affair with an old flame, a volatile blend of emotions regarding her husband and the hard work/dedication to Fleisher's (a family-owned butcher shop near Kingston, NY) was undoubtedly a taxing exercise in joy, pain and confusion.
It's probably presumptuous and simplistic for me to add that this sort of behavior isn't all together surprising considering Julie and Eric have been together most of their lives and haven't (to my knowledge) experienced the obligatory "sowing of their wild oats". Nevertheless, I found the book fascinating while discovering that Julie Powell is even more courageous and head strong than I imagined (see the chapter "When in Tanzania").
I can't wait to see what she does next (which I hear will be a work of fiction).