Lessons in Chemistry ; Bonnie Garmus
Doubleday - 2022 - Random House Audio
Narrators - Miranda Ralson and Pandora Sykes (very good)
(Combo - read/listen)
Set in CA in the early 1960s Elizabeth Zott is brilliant research chemist working at the Hastings Institute. As the only female scientist in her work group, she has to fight harder to prove herself and to be taken seriously. Why should be expected to make copies and fetch coffee for the men she works with? The only male who seems to recognize her brilliance is her fellow coworker - Calvin Evans, who has been nominated for the Nobel prize for his work. Together there is "chemistry" beyond the lab.
When several years later Elizabeth finds herself unemployed and a single mother of a daughter, her friends Harriet and Walter help her out. She finds herself in a new job, a cooking show called Supper at Six, with a live audience - because cooking is chemistry. While her wing-it style infuriates the producer and sponsors, the show becomes an instant success, not just because of her cooking tips but, because she also challenges her female viewers to question the way things have always been done and the importance of taking time for themselves and the things that they want out of life.
This book spoke to me in many ways, I loved the time period. Elizabeth was a wonderful, strong, quirky heroine and a champion for women. Her no nonsense style and her matter-of-fact way made the men who hoped she would fail step back and take notice. Thanks to her mother, her daughter Mad (Madeline) was wise beyond her years and not afraid to question adults when things don't seem quite right. There was also a stray dog named Six-Thirty who joined the family, the dog, a keen observer of character understood hundreds of words despite having flunked out of his bomb sniffing training. The story is heartwarming and infused with much dry wit. Readers who enjoy strong women characters will likely enjoy the debut gem. I can't wait to see what this talented new author will write next. DON'T MISS IT!
Rating - 5/5 stars