Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession (Paperback)
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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.
"Julie Powell's follow-up to Julie & Julia paints a visceral, compulsively readable picture of what it looks like when you fully indulge with a fantasy object who isn't your spouse.... Powell has honed her writing chops along with her culinary skills, and her extended metaphor is dead on: how we can systematically hack each other apart without ever getting to the heart of our desires."
"Got a hobby you consider therapy? You'll eat up this second memoir by the author of Julie and Julia. In it, Powell tries to end an adulterous affair by immersing herself in an apprenticeship at a butcher shop--and embarks on a world tour of meat. How she finds her way home is the marrow of this tell-all travelogue/love story. Well done!"
"From the title to the last page, former blogger Julie Powell's startling second memoir is smart and compelling.... Powell's steadfast femininity and confident voice are refreshing."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"As intoxicating as baked bone marrow.... Powell is reckless, yes, but also incredibly brave as she cuts through the raw flesh of her marriage, exposing every quivering nerve. It is an evisceration not without its insight and hard-won rewards. It's also funny....The book's joys are many.... In her self-gutting story we see our own fleshy vulnerabilities when it comes to the intricacies of love."
"An engaging writer. Fast, funny and observant...she's your mean best friend sending instant messages that make you snort at your desk."
-New York Times Book Review