The Measure of My Powers

A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris

Publisher: Appetite by Random House
For fans of Eat Pray Love, Wild, and H is for Hawk, The Measure of My Powers is the story of one woman's search for self-love, experienced through food and travel.

"With searing vulnerability and unflinching honesty, Jackie Kai Ellis takes us on an intense and immersive journey from her darkest moments to the redemption she finds through her love of food, Paris, and ultimately, herself."
--Jen Waite, bestselling author of A Beautiful, Terrible Thing


On the surface, Jackie Kai Ellis's life was the one that every woman--herself included--wanted. She was in her late twenties and married to a handsome man, she had a successful career as a designer, and a home that she shared with her husband. But instead of feeling fulfilled, happy, and loved, each morning she'd wake up dreading the day ahead, searching for a way out. Depression clouded every moment, the feelings of inadequacy that had begun in childhood now consumed her, and her marriage was slowly transforming into one between two strangers--unfamiliar, childless, and empty. In this darkness, she could only find one source of light: the kitchen. It was the place where Jackie escaped, finding peace, comfort, and acceptance.

This is the story of how, armed with nothing but a love of food and the words of the great 20th century food writer M.F.K. Fisher, one woman begins a journey--from France to Italy, then the Congo and back again--to find herself. Along the way, she goes to pastry school in Paris, eats the most perfect apricots over the Tuscan hills, watches a family of gorillas grazing deep in the Congolese brush, has her heart broken one last time on a bridge in Lyon, and, ultimately, finds a path to life and joy.

Told with insight and intimacy, and radiating with warmth and humor, The Measure of My Powers is an unforgettable experience of the senses.

READ AN EXCERPT

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao-Tzu

These were the two moments in my day I dreaded—no, I think “feared” is a better word—most: the moment just before sleep and the precise moment I woke up. The unnerving silence of those times. There were no...
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PRAISE FOR

“With searing vulnerability and unflinching honesty, Jackie Kai Ellis takes us on an intense and immersive journey from her darkest moments to the redemption she finds through her love of food, Paris, and, ultimately, herself.”
—Jen Waite, Internationally Bestselling Author of A Beautiful, Terrible Thing

“This inspiring memoir digs deep into one woman’s struggles to overcome her depression. A writer, baker, woman of the world—Jackie Kai Ellis stars in all these roles.”
—Lucy Waverman, Award-Winning Author of The Flavour Principle

“An uplifting memoir that’s taught me the importance of valuing yourself, and not being afraid to ask for the things you want in life.”
—Joann Pai, Food and Travel Photographer, @sliceofpai