Not Becoming My Mother: And Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way

Ruth Reichl, Author . Penguin Press $19.95 (112p) ISBN 978-1-59420-216-2

The slender size of Reichl's memoir of her late mother's life belies its powerful tale of a young woman, Miriam Brudno, who bowed to societal and familial pressure to become a wife and a mother over pursuing a fulfilling career. While Reichl, editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, is well known for writing about her culinary adventures (Tender at the Bone ; Garlic and Sapphires ), this beautifully crafted homage follows a more personal path as she pushes past “Mim Tales”—stories she told about her mother to entertain her readers and friends—to dive deep into her mother's diaries and letters, paying tribute to a woman who was raised when “good women didn't work if they didn't have to.” So Miriam Brudno struggled to fit the mold of the perfect housewife, until she finally told a friend, “Who cares about menus... when there are so many more interesting things to think about?” When Reichl discovers an unopened letter to herself, she reads that her mother “was cheering me on and pointing out that I had an obligation, both to myself and to her, to use my life well.” Reichl has created a masterful portrait of a mother-daughter relationship that will resonate with readers across generations. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/09/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-314481-6
Hardcover - 147 pages - 978-1-4104-1573-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 128 pages - 978-1-101-04506-0
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-101-04462-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-101-19307-5
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