Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tender at the Bone

OK, so the second book I read was called Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl. You may have noticed that I have been posting often, but it is only because I read a couple books before creating this blog. Since I am now in the middle of the 3rd book, after this post I'll be posting on my current text as I read.

So, back to the book, Tender at the Bone is a nonfiction tale of a Jewish girl and her pathologically manic mother. We can all relate to that right? Why is everything blamed on the mother! I guess it is because the mother has such a deep impact on her children. We, as mothers out there, can absolutely relate to the pressures of raising children in such a way that they are happy and not serial killers. Every move we make has ramifications, but of course we mothers don't think quite that way. If, on any given day, we were to analyze every word and every action we took with our children as to whether they may be damaged, we would be MAD! both senses of the word. So we go about our day, with only the major instances of bad behavior on our part as mothers and hope it doesn't ruin them too much. And don't forget the forever looming question, "Are they still young even that they won't remember?"

Similar to the movie and book Julie and Julia, this book is also surrounded by food and various recipes. Although I did not find this a book worth re-reading, I found that the recipes may be worth trying. This book will make you hungry, however it is slightly bi-polar in more than one way. First there are the recipes that the young woman picks up as a child from various aunts and nannies because her mother is a horrible and possibly deadly cook, and then there is the underlining story of the girl growing up. The stories are all intertwined, and somewhat hard to believe. The main character goes off to various countries, mostly France but also Egypt and other African countries, for boarding schools and summer job and just for a vacation away. I assume there is not any fiction in the book as it is nonfiction AND a New York Times bestseller??? But, big BUT, it seems unlikely for someone to have done all the things the author has done. Who am I to say, you might ask. Well, good question, the book does read as if her life was written verbatim, but I found it lacked a bit of depth that I always crave in a book. Her life is a mix of wild trips and experiences with various strangers and also a longing to have a mother who does not make her life a challenge. It would have been interesting to read this story from the mother's point of view or alternatively, to hear the author's story of her marriage and family now and how her upbringing helped or hindered her as an adult.

This book did not captivate me, especially because it followed Unaccustomed Earth.

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