Review: The Tender Bar

J.R. Moehringer (2005)

The best memoirs not only tell an interesting or unusual life story, they do so using language that is splendid and true. J.R. Moehringer’s memoir of growing up in New Jersey in the ’70s and ’80s is the equivalent of pulling up a bar stool and listening to one great story after another.

Raised on a shoestring by his mother, Moehringer finds a handful of father figures in the colorful characters that frequent the local watering hole, presided over by his bar-tending Uncle Charlie. Told with loving affection and bittersweet nostalgia, this coming-of-age story is heartwarming, heart-wrenching, and an absolute pleasure to read.

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