Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not Becoming My Mother

Not becoming My Mother  By Ruth Reichl.   Every daughter should read this. Given the opportunity to explore a box of old letters and diary like excerpts, Ruth Reichl pieces together a new, different mother.  Ruth Reichl is an accomplished memoirist, writer, editor, cook and businesswoman. Her previous writings delve into her life from early childhood through today and are wonderfully entertaining and heartfelt. This book, a small novelette, focus's on Ruth's mother. An important, influential person in her life but one that she did not fully understand until a box of letters and diary entries are found. These writings detail for Ruth more about her mother than she ever knew and help her piece together some of the mystery that was their family and her mother's character in general. Every daughter (really, sons too!) should relate to the feeling that unexpectedly is revealed, at some point in your life, that your mother is a "person." That you are a part of her life but that her life existed before you and will after you move out on your own into adulthood. That a mother's desires, dreams, regrets and fears are real. They are not less important or life changing than your own. They need to be respected, understood, for better or for worse. The author finds this out after her mother's death. The reader may wonder what would have happened had she learned these things sooner or perhaps, take the time to learn from the experience and call your mother.

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