TENDER AT THE BONE has been in my library for a number of years now. So many that I have lost count. I have obviously wanted to read it, or I wouldn’t have purchased it way back when. Unfortunately, when I finished the book, I wanted to have liked it more.

Reichl recounts the story of her youth, life with a manic depressive mother and a goes-along-with-everything father, and how she came to love the culinary and written arts. Her mother plays a prominent role in her young life, exposing her to some of the worst food she’s ever eaten (or that anyone has for that matter – reference the hospitalizations of more than 25 people after her mother hosted an engagement party for Reichl’s brother). The matriarch of the family is pushy, singularly focused on herself and pays her daughter he greatest favor when she sends her off to boarding school. It’s in Quebec that she meets young Beatriz and her wealthy french family. Each night, dinner is prepared by exquisitely trained French chefs, and so does Ruth’s romance with food begin.

Reichl’s tone is spot on, capturing moments of hilarity, shock and sadness. I just found, at times, that I was a little bored. I also think that I had a different picture of what I thought the book would be about and what time frame it would cover, and it was far different than my expectations. It didn’t help that this week did not afford me as much reading time as I had hoped, and this felt a bit more like an assignment than leisurely reading. We are only in week two. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is just a reflection of this week and not a sign of the year ahead.

When all is said and done, I did enjoy it. There are certain friends of mine to whom I would recommend it. It just didn’t leave me with the feelings I had ultimately hoped it would.

Rating: 3 stars
Pages: 282
Genre: Memoir