This week I’m reading: Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

I finished this today; what an amazing book!

Lessons In Chemistry is the bestselling debut novel by Bonnie Garmus.

The blurb:

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 take 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 doesn’t always follow a straight line. 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. That’s because Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo. 

What the critics are saying:

On par with Beth Harmon of The Queen’s Gambit, Elizabeth Zott swept me away with her intellect, honesty, and unapologetic selfhood. Lessons in Chemistry is a story for all the smart girls who refuse to dumb themselves down despite a culture that demands otherwise. Though a creation of the 50s & 60s, Zott is a feminist icon for our time.

Rachel Yoder
author of Nightbitch

A timeless book, written with furious elegance, black humour and delightful quirk. Elizabeth Zott is an iconic heroine – a feminist who refuses to be quashed, a mother who believes that her child is a person to behold, rather than to mould, and who will leave you, and the lens through which you see the world, quite changed. 

Pandora Sykes
journalist, broadcaster, and author of How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right?

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus is the most charming, life-enhancing novel I’ve read in ages. It’s funny, clever, slightly whimsical without being in any way cutesy, and a perfect delight… Very strongly recommend.’

India Knight
The Sunday Times

All I can say is: what a remarkable book. I loved every page and enjoyed getting to know the formidable Elizabeth Zott; a woman ahead of her time in more ways than one. The story covers a lot of themes and sub-plots, all of which are neatly tied up at the end. Brilliant stuff!

Garmus has even curated a playlist as a soundtrack to the book:

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