■ REVIEW: Cleaving
Carving up her goals

By now, most people will know the name Julie Powell, her efforts to work her way through Julia Child’s recipes having been immortalised on film in Julie & Julia.

This time around Powell decided to try a new challenge. Because after all that French cooking we’d all be ready to face fresh challenges, right?

Her goal this time is to learn to be a butcher, doing her time at a real butcher shop and learning the intricacies of breaking down a side of beef and how to French a rack of ribs.

Through it all, Powell learns a lot about the people she is working with and even more about herself.

After the success of Julie & Julia it would be easy to view this book with a spot of cynicism, expecting it to be a half-hearted effort, hurriedly written to cash in on the release of the movie.

However, it’s not. This little gem is a fun read that is packed with quirky honesty and humour. I actually enjoyed it more than the first book.

Cleaving, by Julie Powell (Penguin, RRP $37)

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