Tender at the Bone
Ruth Reichel, 1998
In fact, according to her account, Ruth might have followed the career path of a public health inspector. By 9 years of age she was warning guests away from her mother's toxic offerings, particularly worried about "the big eaters" and her favorite people as they neared the buffet, "willing them away from the casserole."
Unknowingly, I had started sorting people by their tastes. Like a hearing child born to deaf parents, I was shaped by my mother's handicap, discovering that food could be a way of making sense of the world.
Reichl's memoir makes for quick, delightful reading with a good dose of hilarity thrown in. But her story eventually reaches its tender point with her aging parents, particularly her long-suffering father who put up with a good deal from Ruth's zany mother, a diagnosed manic-depressive. To escape, Ruth takes off for distant parts, putting 3,000 miles between herself and her mother, only to be called home occasionally to help get her parents through another crisis.
This is delectable fare served up by Reichl. I recommend it highly—a delightful, fun read.
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