Ruth Reichl Writing Styles in Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table

Ruth Reichl
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Perspective

The narrative is entirely from Ruth's point of view. Early chapters focus on her perceptions and memories as a very young child. As Ruth matures, so do her perceptions, especially those regarding her very difficult, troubled mother. Reichl's love of gourmet food and her preoccupation with food resonates through every page. She lovingly describes meals and even single bites of food with total recall, decades later. The entrées and desserts shared with her future husband Doug are far more important than his appearance. The couple's conversation is not mentioned at all, but every detail of those pivotal first meals cooked by Ruth is described.

Ruth's mother is mentally ill and her father is emotionally absent, completely preoccupied with Mother's antics. Ruth does not try to hide those facts, but she also does not indulge feelings of deprivation or emotional neediness. Clearly, she regards her dysfunctional family life...

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This section contains 824 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table Study Guide
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