Save Me the Plums. Ruth Reichl.

Reichl, Ruth. Save Me The Plums. Penguin Random House 2019. NF;6/19.

I didn’t enjoy this memoir as much as Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires, in which as the new New York Times restaurant critic she famously presented herself to a fancy self-important restaurant first as the critic, and then disguised as a dowdy elderly lady. She is of course treated accordingly and outs the restaurant publicly for its hypocrisy.

Here she’s moved up in the world, appointed as chief of Gourmet Magazine, an iconic food periodical owned by Condé Nast. She makes wonderful changes and the magazine improves and is if anything more successful, but this being the electronic age with its well-known impact on publishing her bosses decide to close the magazine. Although Ms. Reichl describes a fabulous farewell party, it’s a sad and somewhat anticlimactic ending.

The writing is engaging, we are left in no doubt about the author’s status in the culinary world, but this story doesn’t have the thrilling cachet of some of her other work. 7.2/7.6.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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