Lessons in Chemistry was just a joy to read. The pacing is fantastic, and although there are plenty of sad moments, it has a delightfully comedic tone that I loved. The main character, Elizabeth Zott, commands attention, and her way of looking at the world keeps the reader turning the page. This story is expertly layered, with chemistry and television cooking somehow blending easily with crew rowing and child-rearing. It is an intelligent, witty, thoughtful, and sad look at life, with bits of humor mixed in. It brings home the importance of how you treat others and the way that each individual’s actions greatly affect another, good or bad.
The treatment of women in the workplace in the 1960s was shown in shocking detail, as was the way that society looked down on single mothers and their children at that time. The characters were unique and fresh, from the determined Elizabeth to the brilliant Calvin, and the precocious child Madeline. Even their dog, Six-thirty, was a fresh, unique, and insightful character in this story. Everything in this book stands out, from the phrasing to the quirky characters. It is a book I will recall often and will read again. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read a well-crafted novel.
I received a free copy of this book from the Doubleday Books via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bonnie Garmus is a copywriter and creative director who’s worked widely in the fields of technology, medicine, and education. She’s an open-water swimmer, a rower, and mother to two pretty amazing daughters. Born in California and most recently from Seattle, she currently lives in London with her husband and her dog, 99.