- How can the same parents produce uber-successful children at the same time as utterly messed up ones? I have no answer, but the idea fascinates me.
- Her description of Mark Bittman's daughter is so sweet. At the same time, her descriptions of food issues instilled in little girls by their mothers are sad and a disturbing commentary on our culture.
- The "weird" stuff she ate growing up reminds me of my upbringing, where foreign foods/cultures were not widely accepted (cultural assimilation is the norm!). I'm glad it's not that way anymore, though it's not like we have children who would be subject to any mocking.
- Her graphic account of cleaning the outside of her restaurant because of poop and a rat really grossed me out. It's the side of NYC that I just don't want to think about.
- Her stories of her annual trip to Italy reinforced my view that you can't really get to know a country unless you spend the time with locals.
Reviews also criticized the lack of explanation behind her decision to marry, have kids, and stay in the relationship despite it being so profoundly unsatisfying. Oddly enough, I didn't find her lifestyle to be all the strange, probably because I had seen an unusual arrangement of this nature before. When I lived in Montreal, my hairdresser was a fabulously tiny Asian man who could rock stripper platform shoes better that I could ever imagine. He was so openly gay, yet he talked about his wife and 4 kids, much to my confusion. A friend of mine who had initially referred me to his salon explained that he was married to a lesbian, that they had a big family together but they were both free to live their preferred lifestyle. I would have loved to know the why behind this arrangement, but obviously I couldn't figure out a way to politely ask such personal questions while getting my hair done. So Hamilton's marital situation, while unusual on the surface, may not be all that unique.
In our many trips to NYC, we have yet to eat at Prune, but having enjoyed her memoir, I am now eager to try her food - I hope it lives up to expectations.