Catherine's Reviews > Bittersweet: Lessons from My Mother's Kitchen

Bittersweet by Matthew McAllester
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's review
Jan 30, 2010

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** spoiler alert ** McAllester writes of grieving after his mother’s death and his description of the loss was very touching. Actually, I felt his grieving process really started much earlier, at about the age of ten, when his mother first began showing signs of mental illness.

The “Lessons from my Mother’s Kitchen” portion of the book was initially an exploration of getting to know who his mother was by looking through her cookbooks and preparing some of the recipes. It started off well, but that premise pretty much fizzled out by the second half of the book.

Another portion of this memoir takes us through the author and his wife’s attempts at having a child through IVF, spending significant passages devoted to that subject. He never followed the thread through to whether their last attempt was successful. He intentionally left his reader with a cliffhanger ending. For me, it works in movies, not in books.

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