Book Review: Lessons in Chemistry

By Bonnie Garmus

Pages: 400
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Feminism, Contemporary
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lessons in Chemistry was a book I placed on my reading list back in 2022. My sister loaned me this book back around Easter.  (We haven’t seen each other in a while.) It has been sitting on my TBR since then (hey I have other books I need to read).  

Then one day I was scrolling through Instagram and Melissa Urban (The book of Boundaries and co-founder of Whole-30), said that I must read this book.  So I decided to bump the list up, and I was glad I did. 

Elizabeth Zott is a no-nonsense, (brutally) honest, tells it how it is a chemist.  Which is fine and dandy, but this book is set in the 60s, and it is a man’s world.  

Working at Hastings Research Institute the all-male team,  have unscientific views on equality.  Except for brilliant, but grudge-holder Calvin Harris. 

Calvin and Elizabeth are a perfect match, but like science life is unpredictable, and a few years later we find Elizabeth a single mother.  

One day Elizabeth discovers that one of her classmates is eating her daughter’s (Mad) lunch.  She confronts Walter Pine the father of the child, and the next thing you know she finds herself thrust into the tv world with a show called “Supper at Six”, which becomes a raging success.  

The friendship with her neighbour Harriet shows the importance of friendship and neighbours, and that love and support when you are a single mother is vital

Honourable mentions to Walter Pine (Zott’s boss), and her dog Sixy-Thirty. 

Lessons in Chemistry have it all, wit, humour, determination but most of all feminism.  Zott is the type of woman we all look up to, but most of all can be. 

Elizabeth will dare you to be a little bit rebellious!

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