Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good luck, Ruthie, 16 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table (Hardcover)
I first heard of Ruth Reichl during her radio interview on "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. Later, a friend told me that Reichl also has a radio show in New York. Ah, those lucky New Yorkers...
In this book, Ruth Reichl's stories cut across the many planes of her world: food, family, self, cities, friends, and last but definitely not least -- mental illness.
Though each story in this set of memoirs is nominally "complete" with a starting and ending point that lets it stand on its own, there is nonetheless a sense of skittishness and patchiness that permeates the collection. Characters enter and exit the book with scarce, absent, or post-facto introduction. Episodes end abruptly, and suddenly Ruth is somewhere else -- in a different place and time.
These effects are surely intentional. Because they are a part of how Ruth has lived and continues to live in a life influenced by her mother's manic depression, her own emerging mental crises which! ! are mentioned in the closing chapters, and the places and times within which she lives.
Most of the stories-with-crises that Riechl tells from childhood through adulthood end on hopeful notes, but you often don't find out what happens afterward. The same with the greater story of Riechl's life -- we are hopeful that she will come out of this ok, but we can't be sure.
Readers of this book may also be interested in Ron Suskind's _A Hope in the Unseen_ (also reviewed by a few folks on this website) which ends in a similar way.
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