Book Three: Comfort Me with Apples

Comfort Me with Apples, Ruth Reichl

This is the last of the Ruth Reichl memoirs that I've read. Actually, I read them out of order (I started with Garlic and Sapphires, went on to Tender at the Bone next, and finally picked up Comfort Me with Apples. I turned to this because I spent nearly a month struggling to get through the first 100 pages of The Perfectionist, which I just could not read and finally had to put aside. Seriously, not for the life of me. I am not one to give up on things easily. I have never walked out of a movie (though I have been tempted many times--I just have this feeling like what if I miss out on the best ending ever?) and I rarely don't finish books, but this one just wasn't doing it for me. I love love love food books, but this read more like a business book. Which stinks, because I heard such great things about it.

Ruth Reichl, on the other hand, is the bee's knees. I could read her writing any day and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Of all her books, though, this one is the most difficult. Is it because of all the sex and affairs? Maybe a little. Is it because you start do think, "Do I really like Ruch Reichl as a human being?" Yup, that's probably part of it. But of course, I think this book is showing her at what might not have been the best part of her life, and seriously, don't we all have those times? I've made some horrible decisions at a few points and conducted myself in manners I don't wish to remember, so I can understand some of Ruth Reichl's indiscretions. However, the stuff with the back and forth between Doug and Michael... blargh! No matter how true it may be, I have a hard time reading about how Doug is the love of her life... no, wait, Michael is the love of her life... no, it's Doug who will always be there for her... no, Michael is the one who lights the spark inside her... no, she and Doug are true life partners! I felt like for a while every single chapter ended with some kind of "revelation" about her relationships, and after, say, the fifth one, I couldn't take it anymore.

But, all that crap aside, this was lovely. I adore the way she writes about food and people and places and the realness of her characters and life. I look forward to whatever comes next from her, and in the meantime I content myself with monthly issues of Gourmet and hearing her occasional appearances on WNYC.


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