Book Twentyone: Not Becoming My Mother

Not Becoming My Mother, Ruth Reichl

I feel torn about this book. I generally love Ruth Reichl and feel she can do no wrong. And while this book isn't actually wrong, it also isn't the most right thing I've ever read, either.

The problem is partly that it's just too short. It's about 110 pages, and each page in this small book is the equivalent of about one paragraph in a regular book (e.g. small size, large type and gigantic margins). And this seemed to shortchange Ruth's mother's life a bit. I just kept thinking, "Shouldn't there be more here? Shouldn't this interesting woman's life require more pages and thought than this?" And while there are certainly some touching moments, some of it also seemed too pat. And--I really, really hate to use this word in relation to anything Ruth Reichl--dare I say, trite? The last few paragraphs almost read like a sixth grader's essay on What My Parents Taught Me.

Oh god, I feel horrible not loving this book. So bad I just have to stop now before I make it worse.


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