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Julie Powell is 30 years old, living in a rundown apartment in Queens and working at a secretarial job that's going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In the span of one year. At first she thinks it will be easy, but as she moves from simple potato soup into more complicated realms, she realizes there's more to Mastering the Art than meets the eye. She haunts the local butcher, buying kidneys and sweetbreads. She rarely serves dinner before midnight. She discovers how to mold the perfect Orange Bavarian, the trick to extracting marrow from bone, and the intense pleasure of eating liver. And somewhere along the line she realizes she has eclipsed her life's ordinariness through humor, hysteria, and perseverance.--From publisher description.