Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus: A Book Review
I was first drawn to Lessons in Chemistry by of course, it’s wonderful cover. But inside the book, it was so much more than I was expecting and it blew me away. It had me hooked right from the start.
I enjoyed how I truly felt I was transported into the last 50’s early 60’s era and although I was guilty of previously admiring the era a long time ago, over time I gained more knowledge and insight into how much women were still held back and not looked at as equals to men. This story does that and more for the reader and it made me so angry at the injustice of how much women weren’t allowed to be their own person and were basically property. Elizabeth Zott’s character was admirable in her stance and modern thinking into what she deserved and she was basically a badass heroine.
There are some hard things and occurrences to listen to within the story, however. And I mean extremely difficult that I truly wished there were trigger warnings at the beginning. But I’ve provided you with the ones that I can remember at the bottom of this review for your benefit.
With that being said, Miranda Raison and Pandora Sykes were the perfect narrators for this book and Bonnie Garmus’ writing actually had me liking science, which was never a subject I ever enjoyed in the past.
Thank you Doubleday Canada for the gifted copy and Penguin Random House Audio for the advanced reader's copy. Thoughts in this review are completely my own.
TW: Rape, sexism, grief, loss of partner, animal neglect, parental abandonment, parental neglect
A delight for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this blockbuster debut set in 1960s California features the singular voice of Elizabeth Zott, a scientist whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show.
Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.
But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.
Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.