I had heard about The Measure of my Powers from a lovely friend, and then on the WSIRN Podcast, it was being recommended as some really good Canadian memoir writing. So while listening to that podcast episode, I requested it from my library. WELL, three pages into to it I decided to stop reading, and go out and buy it that day… it was just too damn beautiful to not own for my own personal library.
Jackie Kai Ellis had seemed on the outside to be perfect. She was married to her “hot” husband, had a successful career, and also owned a home. But within the first paragraph you see that Jackie struggled everyday to have the desire to go on. Her depression was so heavy that she had contemplated on whether she should continue to live. Jackie found her purpose in the kitchen. It all started with a chocolate chip cookie, and the ability to find joy in each bite. She then went on to discover herself through food, and travelling from France to Italy, then the Congo.
First off, this book is stunning. The sheer weight of it is heavier than your average book, because of the stock of the paper. Each page feels crisp, and just waiting for me to dog-ear it! Sorry all you people who believes books shouldn’t be marked up 🙂 She has also made the pages colourful, and sprinkled her life changing recipes throughout it.
Here’s a list of the things I loved the most about this memoir:
- The thoughtfulness that Jackie took in sprinkling her recipes, and her favourite quotes, makes me feel really connected to her. I even felt inclined to reach out to her after reading this book to tell her how much it resonated with me… and she so sweetly replied.
- It’s back drop is set a lot in Paris. And I just love Paris, croissants, and all the descriptions that Jackie details. Except now I need to go back!
- The authenticity, and rawness that Jackie exposes. Her struggles, I’m sure will resonate with a lot of people, but knowing that she was able to pull herself out of this hard place is so hopeful.
- Lastly, her descriptions of food were magical. She could describe each bite so well that you want to stop and enjoy your next meal as much as she does.
Okay, so now that I’ve gushed a ton about this one, I’d love to leave you with one quote from her book that I just thought was so beautifully badass!!!
For so long I had dreamt of dying, to dispose of a life I despised in so many ways. But if I were to throw my life away anyway, I thought, maybe I could waste it living, doing whatever the fuck I wanted, however the fuck I wanted to. I would have been dead anyway.
That’s all for today my friends, I’m off to do what the f*ck I want… and possibly bake some chocolate chip cookies from the recipe in this book!