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Book Review of Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry
VolunteerVal avatar reviewed on + 574 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4


Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was definitely a "Bookstagram made me read it" novel! I love when the enthusiasm of fellow readers influences my reading more than the major marketing budgets of publishers. This book deserves all the praise it's received and more. I'm excited it will be the basis for a series on Apple TV.

This is historical fiction, but don't dismiss this if you don't usually read the genre. Set in the early 1960s, main character Elizabeth Zott is a woman ahead of her time. She's a talented scientist, but societal norms, a sexist boss, and a personal tragedy make it impossible for her to continue her career working in a lab.

When hosting a cooking show is her only viable employment option, she teaches chemistry lessons to her housewife viewers (and their children) while doing so. This reminded me of early days of America's Test Kitchen on PBS. This is just one example of Elizabeth doing things in the manner that makes sense to her regardless of the status quo. I could definitely learn something from her!

The characters in this novel are so memorable and include a rescued dog named Six-Thirty. I rarely re-read books, but I would definitely listen to the audiobook after first reading a print copy.