I didn't enjoy this book. I tried to. I even wanted to. I kept hearing from others how much they loved it. Heck, there is even a movie made from the book. It just didn't work with me. Perhaps it was the audio version. It was read by the author, and very few authors read their own works. I found Julie's voice very heavy and plodding, almost as if she didn't want to be there reading this book. This is in contrast to her interview with the producer at the end of the last chapter where her voice is light and animated. I'm sure if she had read the book in that voice I'd have had a different experience.
The concept of the story is terrific. Spend a year and cook all the recipes in Julia Child's monumentous 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' and then blog about it. I wanted to hear more about Julia Child, more about the skills Julie acquired while cooking, but mostly I heard the whining. Whining about her job, her apartment, it's bad plumbing and her husband. Not what I wanted to hear. She tried to be funny, but I didn't laugh even once in the five plus hours that it took to listen to the complete book. My daughter sat beside me for one drive of one and one half hours and she broke into laughter several times. Guess the book would work for her.
While the book didn't amuse me nor entertain nor enlighten me, I found it did work on one level. At the beginning of the book Julie seemed depressed/unhappy with her life. She seemed to be looking for a way to 'get it together' and that's why she turned to this project. It seemed to give her the control that she needed at that time. By the end of the book she did seem more confident and definitely in control. Great success there. If I had read this book from a psychology case study point of view I might have thought it was really good and helpful.
The Julie & Julia Blog site
Thanks to Hachette Book Group for the cover photo.