Today I came upon former Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl’s new book, For You Mom, Finally. A devoted reader of Reichl’s work, I was psyched that she had another book out. I did find it odd that she was publishing another book about her mom on the heels of last year’s Not Becoming My Mother. After reading a little further into the press release, I discovered that it’s actually the same book.
First reported by USA Today, Penguin Books president/publisher Kathryn Court had this to say about the name change: “We realized that this new title would more effectively reach the intended audience.”
Reichl portrays her mother, Miriam, as a woman whose early talent and ambition was thwarted, and whose middle age was categorized by dissatisfaction and boredom. According to Reichl, Miriam only became truly happy and self-confident by the time she was nearly 80.
Reichl writes about her mother with affection and compassion, and For You Mom, Finally may be an appropriate title. But the gist of the book is that while growing up Reichl saw in Miriam an unhappy and inert woman, and her negative example inspired Reichl to pursue the life she has today. While the new title may be better at getting the Oprah-watching women’s book club members into bookstores, those readers may now be in for a surprise once they get home and look inside the pages.
Photo courtesy of amazon.com.