Patricia's Reviews > For You Mom, Finally

For You Mom, Finally by Ruth Reichl
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's review
Jun 24, 2010

really liked it
Read in June, 2010

Short, even slight book about an accomplished woman who learns about the dimensions of her mother's life -- after her mother is dead, of course.

It seems probable that Miriam had something on the bipolar spectrum, although this isn't clear. What is clear is that she embarrassed her children and caused them other pains to the point that they each basically seemed to have limited their contact with her in order to protect themselves.

What changes Reichl's view of her mother is a box of letters and notes to herself her mother had written. I do not know whether knowing these things would have been enough to change Reichl's perception of her mother while she was alive. To me, that is a question she does not grapple with. Similarly, I don't think she answers very well for subjecting her mother to very public humiliation in her own memoirs.

As a mother, I have far more in common with Miriam than with Reichl. That is a chasm I imagine Reichl believes she has now closed in her family story. I am not sure.
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