Having read about Ruth Reichl’s eccentric and long-suffering mother in Tender at the Bone, I wasn’t sure I was ready to revisit this unusual (or not so) family in Reichl’s new book, Not Becoming My Mother. Ms. Reichl does a wonderful job of showing us the person at the heart of Miriam Reichl, a woman who struggled against the constraints of 1950’s American culture, and who encouraged her daughter to enter a world which, in her own generation, Miriam so desperately wanted to belong but could not access. Most of this book is based on  letters and diaries that Ruth found after her mother’s death. How bittersweet that some of the most intimate insights about our loved ones take place with the grave between us. — Lisa

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