This is why I love reading groups. Because this is a book I never, ever would have picked up on my own-some, but because someone else told me to read it (thank you Jill) I have discovered a new author that I love!
For those who don't know (I didn't) Ms. Reichl was a Berkley-dwelling food writer who went on to be the food critic for both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. She then became the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. Sort of an impressive way of saying she's a world-class foodie, yes?
And from the early pages of Tender, it's easy to see why. From her description of her mother's horrible, botulism-inducing cooking, to her discussion of her Aunt Birdie's Potato Salad, to her wild high school and college exploits cooking for friends late at night, you feel like you're there adventuring and eating with her.
Additionally, although the food is obviously the show piece of the book, she mixes in the perfect amount of "life" to give the food context. The devil's food cake she makes the first time she makes out with a boy, for example, is perfectly wicked.
I not only gobbled down this book (which chronicles Reichl's childhood up to her first marriage )but ate up Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table (early adulthood) and Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise (life as the New York Times food critic) as well.
Four star reading, all the way!