2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

BOOK REVIEW for The Buddha at My Table by Tammy Letherer

TITLE:                  The Buddha at my Table

AUTHOR:             Tammy Letherer

GENRE:                 Memoir

RATING:                4 stars

Okay, I both hated and loved this book.  The writing was wonderful.  Down to earth and not too flowery (which apparently this author has been accused of being at times).

I like memoirs to be honest and forthright, without all the minutia of every detail and Letherer succeeds very well.  She is VERY honest.

This is not an overly big book, so it can be read quickly, but I took time to read it because I absolutely did not like almost every person in this book, including Letherer herself.

First, I admire anyone who can write their life story for others to read.  It takes a lot of guts and for that, I give her kudos.

However, this book brought out so many emotions in me (yes, I know good books are supposed to do that) that I found myself having  to put the book down after reading for only a few minutes.  This is not normally something I do.  

Having said that, my head was spinning as I read.....Letherer's husband basically comes home one night and tells her a) he has been having affairs throughout most of the marriage b) most were escorts (ugh! that alone would have sent me to the closest doctor) and c) he is "in love" with someone he just met and wants a divorce.

Obviously, this opens up a ton of possibilities and none of them good.  From the get go, the husband (I won't even mention his name) basically has the upper hand, despite the fact that he is the one who cheated and this, basically,  remains the theme of the book.  As a matter of fact, as we got heavier into the story,  he becomes even bolder, at one point asking Letherer if "she wanted to get frisky"?  (who even says frisky????).

So, he is basically set up to be hated from the first page, but what I wasn't expecting was the fury I felt at Letherer herself.   I mean my emotions were all over the place.

The thing is, the author was, in my view, complicit in this whole thing.  As her husband got bolder and bolder, challenging her at every turn - be it with the children, the finances or moving out, Letherer teetered between self pity and searching for her backbone.  I think I lost it when, at one point, the author writes "who will take care of us?".

The tone of this book is definitely one of surprise(!!), self pity (at times) and confusion.  The author vacillates between seemingly understanding that things are changing and that her whole "I am relying on a man to get me through this life" is just not working anymore, while simultaneously searching for a man to take care of her.

The reference to the Buddha in the title is linked to the fact that, on many occasions, the author tries various self-healing ways to get through her pain and fear, with varying degrees of success.

This story is engaging and will certainly evoke a ton of emotions, as you can see by my review.

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