Thank you, Bonnie Garmus, for creating a strong female protagonist, and thank you to all of my Bookstagram friends who told me I needed to read Lessons in Chemistry!
Sub-Genre: Historical Fiction
Pub Date: 3.31.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
“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.”
“When you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others’ opinions of what you can and cannot achieve. And no more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion. Do not allow your talents to lie dormant, ladies.”
I’m not going to lie; I thought this was just another romance story I was not in the mood for. But, I was so very wrong. I’ve seen comparisons of Lessons in Chemistry to Eleanor Oliphant (which I didn’t like) and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (which I loved), and I can see the connection. The writing style/dialogue was delightful to follow that I tuned everything out and just read along with Elizabeth, Mad, and Six-Thirty.
Speaking of Six-Thirty…I loved his character and looked forward to his anecdotes and thoughts on what his “creature” was doing. He really added something so pure to the story. Do not worry; nothing happens to him ♥️
There were a plethora of issues at the heart of this story, and sadly, many of the problems are ones that women face today, especially women in STEAM. I could not wrap my mind around Elizabeth’s being so talented, but everyone kept trying to put her in a box and tell her what to do. It was truly baffling to me. I thought of my grandmother, trying to start her career during this same era.
👩🏽🔬 STEAM Representation
👏🏼 Not a romance
💪🏼 Strong Female Protagonist
👯♀️ Women Supporting Women
❌- Rape, Suicide, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault/Harassment. Please don’t let these deter you from reading the book — DM me if you need more information.
I loved so many aspects of this book and found myself crying (woman wanting to be a heart surgeon), feeling intense anger (towards everyone at the lab), and laughing hysterically (canned soup). If you haven’t read Lessons in Chemistry, please make it a priority!
Lessons in Chemistry was a Book of the Month Pick for April 2022. You can sign-up today, using this link. I’ve been a BOTM subscriber for 4 years and love that I have the option to skip a month if I don’t see anything that interests me. I definitely prefer hardback books and this is a way to get brand new releases at a reasonable price – they also have A LOT of debut novelists. If you want more information about BOTM, send me an email!