Julie Powell was a bored-to-tears secretary struggling to survive her lack of enthusiasm when her husband suggested she start a new project. "You could write a blog" he said. "You do know what a blog is, right, Julie?" Ah, the good old days. She decides to cook all of the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking over one year. That's 564 recipes, 365 days, in a New York City apartment.
Apparently the blog was quite a success, although I never heard of it (and if I haven't heard of something, what's the point, really?). I wish I had read it as she was doing the project, it must have been a lot of fun. She also got on the Early Show, the Today Show, etc., etc., etc.! This book takes a bit from the blog, a bit from her life, a bit too much of her friends' lives, and a bit of Julia Child's life, and mashes it all together with a stick of butter.
It was a fun read. Very chick-lit but without so much shopping. Plenty of bitching, though. I wish she'd included more about cooking; the narrative got way off track at times with the trips home and the friends eloping with British rock stars.
There's definitely some substance here. It's worth reading. But perhaps she could have done even better.
Note: Powell includes little dribbles of made-up stuff about Julia Child's life. They weren't particularly effective. But now I want to read that biography of her that came out recently like the dickens.