Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.
But it's the 1960s, and despite the fact that she is a scientist, her male peers are very unscientific when it comes to equality. The only good thing to happen on her road to professional fulfilment is a run-in with famous colleague Calvin Evans, legend and Nobel nominee. He's also awkward, kind and tenacious. Theirs is true chemistry.
But life is never predictable and three years later Elizabeth Zott is an unwed, single mother and star of America's best loved cooking show Supper at Six. Her singular approach to cooking - 'take one pint of H2O and add a pinch of sodium chloride' - and empowering message prove revolutionary. Because Elizabeth isn't just teaching housewives how to cook, but how to change their lives.
📖 🎧 My Review..
I have to own up to being rather late to the party with this one as it was published last year but with an Audible credit newly arrived in my in-box I decided to listen to the words and haven't been disappointed as it's a wonderfully immersive sort of read.
Beautifully narrated by Miranda Raison, Elizabeth Zott comes gloriously alive, along with all her single-minded eccentricities, her foibles and her determination to empower women, not just in the work place, but also in the home. Elizabeth’s brilliant analytical brain is overshadowed by the misogynistic attitude of the men working alongside her, as even in the laboratory, Elizabeth, although an exceptionally gifted scientist, is seen as second best and not good enough to be one of the boys. However, it is her meaningful relationship with fellow scientist Calvin Evans which takes Elizabeth Zott's life in a very different direction.
Thanks to skilful storytelling we get to know Elizabeth very well, and whilst at first I wasn’t terribly keen on her, I did start to warm towards her as we gradually get to know her as woman, a scientist, a mother and finally a celebrity hosting a successful TV programme. I found Lessons in Chemistry to be a real breath of fresh air, it’s an interesting read which kept me entertained from start to finish. Elizabeth Zott is funny without meaning to be and her deep bond with 6:30, meaning will become apparent if you read the book, is so endearing that I couldn’t help but come to love her. Elizabeth is definitely one of those characters who stays with you long after the book is finished.
I have no hesitation in making Lessons in Chemistry my Featured Book of the Month for June.
Bonnie Garmus was recently awarded Author of the Year at The British Book Awards 2023
Twitter @bonniegarmus #LessonsinChemistry