The national bestseller that picks up where Tender at the Bone left off, Comfort Me with Apples recounts Reichl's transformation from chef to food writer, a process that leads her from New York to China in pursuit of good food and good company.
** spoiler alert ** For me this was a much more difficult book than "Tender at the Bone," emotionally speaking. I have an eight-and-a-half month old daughter, which is very near the same age Reichl's daughter, Gavi, was when they had to give her back to her birth parents. I was also more deeply troubled than Reichl probably wanted her readers to be by her affairs. Even as she seemed happier with Michael, I never felt quite settled, and wanted things to be back the way they had been earlier in her relationship with Doug. I do appreciate that she was unwaveringly candid about her affairs, but the months (years?) of dishonesty were almost surreal for me to imagine (but then, I'm applying that to my relationship). My very favorite parts were Reichl getting used to her job as a restaurant critic, learning what things were "expected" of her position and how that conflicted with her hippie lifestyle, and, as always, her writing about her family. Her writing about her father is so tender and realistic that I really got invested in their relationship. She also writes about her relationship with her mother well, and I think she does a good job of making the reader understand their old arguments and the roles they make the other fall into -- like "PussyCat" -- on a very emotional level. I would give this three-and-a-half stars if I could, because I felt troubled throughout the book by her (and her husband's) affairs in a way that wasn't ever really resolved for me. Not that I expected it to be taken care of neatly -- these are real human lives, after all -- but I just never felt comfortable because of it.
Comfort me with apples
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 12 years ago
I love Ruth Reichl. One of the reasons I subscribe to "Gourmet" is to read her editorial in each issue. I even have her "mmmmm:A Feastiary" cookbook, a sort of tribute to the group living days of the late 60's and early 70's. The truth is I love everything Ruth Reichl, from her lifestyle through everything she writes. I'm a total fan and not the least bit objective, but if you've never read her books, you should. She is bright, bluntly honest, funny, and always a good ride. Linguistically speaking.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
Escapism at its best. You'll love Ruth, her mother, her friends, and her experiences.
Sweet Potato Pie Recipe is great!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
Yes, it's a great book, a fabulous followup to "Tender at the Bone." Don't forget the fabulous recipes included in the book. The Sweet Potato Pie is now a family staple at my house, and I've made a note to consult the "Big Chocolate Cake" recipe the next time I need to make cake for a huge crowd. (It's a recipe that creates two 13x9x2 chocolate cake layers plus enough icing to cover them.) Some of the other recipes are a bit fancier, or perhaps a bit more fragile than my cooking schedule will allow, but I plan to try plenty more of them. Her books are a good reminder that there ought to be more to the act of eating a meal than simply consuming calories in mass quantities. If you're bored with cooking or eating out, this book might well remind you to notice more carefully what you're experiencing with each bite.
A Delicious Adventure
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
Reichl has given foodies and book lovers alike yet another wonderful tale of life with taste. Picking up where Tender at the Bone left off, the reader follows reichl from her Berkely commune to food editor of the Los Angeles Times, honestly sharing the story of her disintegrating marriage and her own part in its demise. As she develops as a food writer, Reichl travels to many locals to nosh on the native cuisine, places that are around the corner from her as well as across oceans. One of her many food journies takes her mainland China a mere 9 years after Nixon's historic visit where she willfully disregards the orders of her tour group's official leaders and makes contact with the locals, and of course, eats the food of the people, not the typical restaurant variety. We suffer with her through the loss of her father, and later her daughter, yet the reader is never manipulated into snivelling sentimentality. The same voice that spoke to the hearts and palates of so many readers is evident in this new memoir, ready to consume the reader in more delicious adventures.
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