I’ll honestly say that there were a couple of times that I thought of putting the book aside. I think it is a generational thing - I found Julie a bit whiney and overly dramatic and found myself much more interested in the sections specifically about Julia Child.
But each time, something would pull me back in. There were enough glimpses of the familiar to keep me hooked. I remember struggling in crappy apartments to start creating a life. I remember moments of trying to define who I am in relation to the chaos around me (heck, I’m still doing that). At a certain level, Julie’s story is appealing in its rawness (semi-fictionalized though it may be).
I think the thing that most appealed to me was her determination to stick the project through -- despite the havoc it wrecked in her life and the occasional & repeated dissuasion of friends and family. There’s a thoughtful lesson there for all of us.
As I reflect on that aspect of the project even further, I realize it’s not unlike the “quest” or “pilgrimage” motif in much of literature. You have to stick to the course and complete the journey -- b/c in the journey itself there is much to learn. It’s not always about the path or the destination, but about what happens to yourself along the way.
I remember the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral - how it is a reminder of the same thing. Choose the course - and stay on it - the journey is where you will find the lessons, no matter how humble the course may seem.
Must admit, that’s not what I expected to find myself thinking about in reading Julie & Julia, but it’s not a bad place to end up.
Now, on to My Life in France.