Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel-Audiobook


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12.00 hours

Release Date

April 2022


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Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel is a 2019 novel by Bonnie Garmus. The novel tells the story of Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant young scientist who is forced to give up her career to become a housewife. However, Elizabeth refuses to give up on her passion for chemistry, and she continues to pursue it through her writing for women’s magazines.

The story begins in 1957, when Elizabeth Zott is a brilliant chemistry student at the University of California, Berkeley. She has a bright future ahead of her, but everything changes when she meets Herman Zott, a medical student. Herman is a domineering and conservative man, and he wants Elizabeth to give up her career to be a wife and mother.

Elizabeth reluctantly agrees, and she marries Herman and has a son. However, she continues to pursue her passion for chemistry in her spare time. She writes science articles for women’s magazines, and her articles quickly become popular.

Elizabeth becomes a symbol for women of her era who are struggling to be recognized in society. She is a smart, independent, and strong woman who refuses to be bound by gender stereotypes.

The novel is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1: The Gifted Girl tells the story of Elizabeth’s childhood and college years.
  • Part 2: The Housewife tells the story of Elizabeth’s life after she marries Herman.
  • Part 3: The Scientist tells the story of Elizabeth’s career as a scientist.

The novel has received critical acclaim from critics and readers alike. It has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The novel is an inspiring story about a woman who overcomes all odds to pursue her dreams. It is a reminder to all of us that we can achieve anything we set our minds to, regardless of who we are or where we come from.

Here are some additional details about the novel:

  • The novel is set in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, a time when women were often expected to give up their careers to raise families.
  • The novel explores themes of gender inequality, feminism, and the importance of following your dreams.
  • The novel has been praised for its humor, its sharp social commentary, and its portrayal of a strong and independent female protagonist.


I rate the novel Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel by Bonnie Garmus as an excellent read. The novel has a compelling storyline, well-developed and emotionally rich characters, and a positive message about women’s rights.

I really like how author Bonnie Garmus has built the character of Elizabeth Zott. Elizabeth is a smart, independent, and strong woman. She does not succumb to gender stereotypes, and she always pursues her dreams. I can really empathize with Elizabeth’s journey, and I feel inspired by her story.

The novel also explores some important themes, including gender, equality, and power. The novel shows the difficulties that women face in a discriminatory society. However, the novel is also a reminder that women can achieve anything they set their minds to.

Overall, I think Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel is a must-read. The novel is an inspiring story about a woman who overcomes all odds to pursue her dreams.

Here are some of the book’s highlights:

  • Compelling and engaging storyline
  • Well-developed and emotionally rich characters
  • Positive message about women’s rights
  • Explores important themes such as gender, equality, and power

I highly recommend reading this book if you are looking for an exciting and inspiring story.

I would also like to add that the novel is very well-written. The author has a gift for creating vivid characters and settings. The dialogue is also natural and believable.

I think Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel is a classic that will be enjoyed by readers for years to come.

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621245 reviews

621245 reviews for Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel-Audiobook

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  1. Verified owner Lisa E. (verified owner)

    Listening to audiobooks saves time. I like it very much.

  2. Verified owner Richmond (verified owner)

    What do you do when you’re a female scientist in the 1960s, and every deck is stacked against you? You row. You cook. You fight. Elizabeth Zott is a chemist, a TV show personality, and a single mom. The social norms of the day mean that so many people – especially men – look at her a certain way. The only thing for Elizabeth to do is use her chemist’s brain to claim her life for herself.

    This book is a complete delight. It reads like a Wes Anderson movie – smart, funny, charming, and quirky. Elizabeth Zott is my new hero! I love that she is nothing if not true to herself and her beliefs and never kowtows to a man for anything. The supporting characters in this book – even the nasty ones – are entertaining and well-written. My favorite character besides Elizabeth is her dog Six-Thirty who must know well over 1,000 words by now. Elizabeth takes all her strengths and uses them to survive – to soar – in a man’s world. Her story is sometimes brutal, sometimes poignant, and sometimes bold. She’s a role model for the ages, and I applaud her.

    Bonnie Garmus has written a masterpiece. Her writing is powerful, witty, and emotional in the right places. I highly recommend Lessons in Chemistry. Let me know when you’ve read it – I’d love to discuss!

  3. Verified owner Mainer (verified owner)

    Goodreads and other social media have been recommending this book to me for a while, but I looked at the cover and decided I didn’t want to read another nerdy rom-com. I enjoy that genre generally, but not enough to grab this one. Then I saw the trailer for the upcoming Apple TV show. Puzzled, I read the blurb and a few reviews. This is where the old saying about “assumptions” showed me I was making a colossal mistake in judging a book by its cover.
    Anyway, long story short, I haven’t enjoyed a book like this in a very long time. It’s more historical fiction about the fifties and sixties as well as women’s fiction. Elizabeth is a chemist in the Fifties, though very few think a woman has the mind and ability to be a scientist. The one exception is Calvin Evans, a noted chemist in his own right and the man who becomes Elizabeth’s soulmate.

  4. Verified owner Ms Liz (verified owner)

    Five big stars
    I love books with quirky, intelligent characters. So, I was immediately drawn to Lessons in Chemistry. Elizabeth Zott is a chemist in the early 1960s, back when women were a rarity in the field. Headstrong and independent, she refuses to tow the line expected. I came more than a decade later, but men’s attitudes hadn’t changed much in the 70s. So, I totally related to her, especially her relationship with Six Thirty.
    The book follows her as she becomes a single mother and then the star of a tv cooking show. There is a dry humor to the book. Actually, the humor gets more broad as the story goes on. I started off chuckling. Then snorting. Then laughing out loud to the point my husband insisted on knowing what I was reading.
    I sometimes have a problem when dogs are anthropomorphized. But it didn’t bother me here, even when his thoughts were included. I only wish my dog understood 900 words.
    The writing here is smart, descriptive, engaging. I found myself chortling over phrase after phrase – the sheer exactness of them. “Every day she found parenthood like taking a test for which she had not studied. The questions were daunting and there wasn’t nearly enough multiple choice.” Not only did I love the immediate family of Elizabeth, Madeline and Six Thirty, I adored Mrs. Sloane, Dr. Mason, Rev. Wakefield, Walter. While the book is humorous, there’s also a lot of emotion packed into it. I adored the ending. (I also loved that Garmus thanked her dogs in her Acknowledgments.) I even loved that I learned a thing or two about cooking.
    I can’t recommend this enough. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Garmus comes up with next.
    My thanks to Netgalley and Doubleday Books for an advance copy of this book.

    Update – I just read this a second time for my book club. If possible, I think I loved it even more the second time.

  5. Verified owner Marilyn (verified owner)

    What an amazing debut novel! I loved every minute of Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. So many things in this novel brought me back to my childhood. I was born in the 1950’s and my own mother was a stay at home mom as were almost of my friend’s moms. It was so different back then compared to present day. I adored Elizabeth Zott and admired everything she stood for and believed in. She was a woman who lived ahead of her times. Her relationship with Calvin Evans was especially beautiful and unique. I adored how they not only loved each other but respected and acknowledged each other’s accomplishments and potentials. Lessons in Chemistry was uplifting, humorous and refreshing. I listened to the audiobook that was brilliantly narrated by Miranda Raison and Pandora Sykes. The audiobook also offered an interview with Bonnie Garmus at the conclusion of the book that I found quite enlightening and informative.

    Elizabeth Zott was employed as a chemist in the early 1960’s. She was the token female chemist in a male dominated profession. Elizabeth Zott was not taken very seriously by her male counterparts even though she was more accomplished, more driven and brighter than any of the male chemists she worked beside. She was often mistaken for someone’s Secretary or an assistant. Elizabeth Zott saw herself as someone who was capable, smart and able to handle anything her male counterparts could handle. She often had to contend with sexual discrimination. More than once, Elizabeth Zott found herself in compromising situations which infuriated her beyond measure.

    While employed at Hastings, Elizabeth Zott met Calvin Evans. His reputation as an accomplished chemist was stellar. Calvin Evans was the first man to take Elizabeth Zott seriously, listen to what she had to say and show her respect. The two fell in love but Elizabeth Zott refused to marry Calvin. She did not want to change her name and take her husband’s name. Elizabeth Zott wanted to stand on her own merits. If she accomplished or discovered something she, Elizabeth Zott, wanted to be recognized for it, not Mrs. Calvin Evans. She felt that if she agreed to marry Calvin, people would always credit him and not her for her discoveries. Elizabeth Zott did not want to live her life as a chemist shadowed by her husband. Her capabilities would constantly be doubted if she was married to Calvin. Elizabeth Zott loved Calvin but refused to marry him.

    Then one day Calvin was in a tragic accident and died. Elizabeth Zott found herself alone and grieving. Unbeknownst to her, she was also pregnant with her and Calvin’s child. She was fired from her job at Hastings. It was taboo for a single pregnant woman to be employed in those days. Some years later, her daughter, Mad, then in school, had an issue with a classmate. Elizabeth Zott took it upon herself to confront the other child’s father about it. That confrontation led to the other child’s father offering Elizabeth Zott the job as the host of a live T. V. cooking show called Supper at Six. Elizabeth Zott used Super at Six as her platform to present lessons in chemistry through cooking to a wide range of women viewers. Her show became a huge success. Elizabeth Zott gave women the hope of exploring their dreams and making them a reality.

    Elizabeth Zott was a woman like no other woman! She was not willing to give up her dreams, goals or recognition just because that was what was expected of women back then. Elizabeth Zott was a chemist, mother and friend. She persevered when things were hard or even unattainable. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was refreshing, humorous and very relatable. I adored the characters of Elizabeth Zott, Calvin Evans, Mad, and Six-Thirty, their dog. It was hard to believe that this was Bonnie Garmus’s debut novel. I didn’t want it to end. Now I am hoping that Bonny Garmus has considered writing a sequel to it. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author. I highly recommend this book.

  6. Verified owner Nichols (verified owner)

    How I love the pull of a great story unfolding, tormenting the reader with hints, with setbacks, with promise. As I was reading this book, E. Jean Carroll is pursuing justice in a civil suit against an arrogant bully with a pugnacious lawyer. Ms. Garmus got the details just right – assaulted women were routinely not believed and counseled to retract, to learn to be more compliant, to go back into abusive relationships. I used to think there had been progress in this regard, and likely there has been. But when I think that my nieces and great nieces have fewer rights, less control of their reproductive health than I have had since my mid-20s, it makes me mad and sad. I loved the character development in this book, allowing Elizabeth, Calvin, and Madeline to be exceedingly bright and relatable. And Six Thirty!! What a dog. Many friends recommended this book. I’m glad they did.

  7. Verified owner Kindle Customer (verified owner)

    After hearing an interview with Bonnie Garmus on our local NPR affiliate, I couldn’t wait to read her book. It is everything I hoped it would be: characters you love right from the start and more than a few laughs out loud moments. But her skill at unfolding the heartbreak in the lives of her characters is extraordinary. I don’t want to describe plot and ruin a good read for anyone. But Elizabeth Zott’s story is particularly resonant now as we watch women’s rights being attacked and diminished on a regular basis. Bravo Bonnie Garmus! Your book might ignite a few flames before it’s too late.

  8. Verified owner Nilufer Ozmekik (verified owner)

    I gave all of my votes to this book, both for the best debut and historical fiction categories, at the Goodreads Choice Awards. I’m thrilled to find out that Barnes & Noble has chosen this brilliant work as the book of the year – it is highly deserved!

    Amazing news, my friends! This fantastic book has been adapted into a streaming series on Apple TV, starring Brie Larson as Elizabeth Zott and an outstanding cast crew including Lewis Pullman, Beau Bridges, Ana Naomi King, Kevin Sussman, Thomas Mann, Stephanie Koenig, and Patrick Walker. I cannot wait to binge-watch it!

    Okay, folks, I just finished the best book of 2022! Now I can relax knowing that I don’t need to search for something better. No, wait, I lied. Not about finding the best book – this one is freaking amazing – but I will continue to search for exemplary fictions like this that can speak to my heart and soul at the same time! I give it five gazillion stars!

    I loved the author’s extra-intelligent, dark, original sense of humor, and I fell in love with her characters. The story of Elizabeth brought out so many complex feelings: I laughed, I got angry, I cried, I sighed, I laughed again, and as soon as I finished the last chapter, I gave my ovation! This is an underrated secret gem! Don’t you dare skip this book or let it sit in your TBR pile. Just read it!

    Let me give you a summary of the plot and introduce you to the characters:

    Elizabeth Zott: How can I express my feelings about this character? She’s so unique, different, extraordinary, visionary, extremely quirky, odd, straightforward, honest, a real feminist, intelligent, intellectual, fighter, survivor, and a brilliant scientist who is brave enough to fight for her rights and her loved ones against mansplaining, inequality, abuse, and humiliation!

    In 1960, after her traumatic experience at UCLA, she starts working at the Hastings Research Institute, which is administered with a male workforce that ignores her enthusiasm and hard work. Only one person sees her and shows respect for her accomplishments: an aspiring, Nobel Prize-nominated, grudge-holder named Calvin Evans.

    The first time they met, he thought she was a secretary, and the second time they met, he vomited on her. There is nothing ordinary about their love story. They are soul mates. They are great minds alike. They are the quirkiest, most unconventional couple. They row together. They adopt the ugliest and most loyal, incredible dog and name him Six-Thirty. They were happy, even though Elizabeth rejected marrying him because she wanted to become an independent scientist without being acknowledged for her husband’s contributions.
    But then…

    We fast-forward to see Elizabeth building a new life, raising her four-year-old, extra-smart, one-of-a-kind, sweetest girl named Mad Zott, helping their dog Six-Thirty improve his vocabulary skills, and most importantly, she’s a TV star now! She teaches women to use chemistry not only in their kitchen but in their entire life to embrace change and challenges. She hosts the most eccentric cooking show called “Supper at Six.”

    Her blunt and honest comments about marriage, religion, and society’s norms will be considered rebellious and unconventional.

    Elizabeth is not alone. She has a 55-year-old, devoted neighbor named Harriet Sloane, who truly detests her husband. She has her supporting producer, Walter Pine, who believed in her enough to give her a chance on TV while raising his daughter by himself. Dr. Mason likes to row with her, stopping by to wash her dishes and check her out.

    But Mad thinks her mother is unhappy, and her homework to create a family tree pushes her to search for more information about her father’s past. She has no idea that her search will uncover many long-kept secrets.
    Overall, this is the best book I have read lately! I fell in love with everything about this story and highly, extremely, and absolutely recommend it.

  9. Verified owner Amanda (verified owner)

    This is a clever fun read! Can be devoured within a day or two, easy to binge page turner. It’s also fun but not too serious. It’s a good break from heavy literature and it’s definitely perfect if you need a break from the basic modern chic romance/drama/thriller rut that we all can get stuck in and basically reading the same novel with different characters. I’d say it’s leveling up and a fresh breath of air from the genre. Plus it’s got science, grit, and history all in a story that’s heart touching and relatable… and not too predictable!

  10. Verified owner Tasha Duhl (verified owner)

    The hype is real. I have never had my feelings so brutally squished, while simultaneously being uplifted. I laughed and cried. Zott’s story as a chemist trying to succeed as women is heart breaking. Obviously we know gender equality wasn’t a thing in the 1950s, but seeing it from her point of view where she KNOWS she’s more than capable, but is being pushed into gender societal roles over and over again is frustrating. Seeing how she was able to overcome everything while giving encouragement to other women was inspiring. I absolutely loved this book and it’s characters.

  11. Verified owner M Jessica (verified owner)

    delightful. wholesome. meaningful.
    this made me believe in chemistry.

  12. Verified owner D Sophie (verified owner)

    Set in the 1960s, this novel tells the story of Elizabeth Zott, a chemist who is fighting to be taken seriously in a world that is dominated by men. When she meets Calvin Evans, an accomplished chemist, she quickly falls in love with him. To quote 500 days of summer here, ”this is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know up front, this is not a love story”

    What I loved most about this book was the characters. Elizabeth is an amazing protagonist – she is strong, independent, and intelligent. Calvin is the perfect partner for her – he supports her and loves her for who she is. Mad Zott is quirky and curious. And the dog was my favourite character in all honesty, even the dog was overly smart.

    This is the best book I have read in 2022. Full stop. Nothing will beat this for me.

  13. Verified owner Paromjit (verified owner)

    Set in the 1950s and 1960s, Bonnie Garmus’s offbeat comedic historical debut is a joyous and vibrant delight that will wrap its tentacles around your heart with its central protagonist, single mother and research scientist, the smart and beautiful Elizabeth Zott, whose passion for science has her seeing the world and people through the lens of Chemistry. Unfortunately for her, she lives in a time where it is believed that women have no place in science, it’s a world where men dominate, control, exploit, patronise and silence women, sexually harrassing, lying, cheating and stealing her research, publishing and passing it off as their own. It doesn’t stop there, men feel they can sexually assault a woman, and it will be the woman who pays the price, Elizabeth is forced to leave, unable to complete her PhD, with the police expecting her to ‘regret’ her behaviour, such are the rage inducing social norms and attitudes of the time.

    However, Elizabeth is no ordinary woman, she refuses to pander to fragile male egos, it worries her not one whit that she doesn’t fit in at the patriarchal Hastings Institute, she accepts no limitations for herself, nor for anyone else. The chemistry between her and the star scientist, Calvin Evans, another man who does not fit either, leads to love, the two of them living together, Zott does not believe in marriage, and their religion is science. Circumstances result in Zott becoming a single mother to the precociously bright 4 year old, Mad, an early reader, voraciously consuming the likes of Norman Mailer and Charles Dickens. The challenges Zott faces, such as being fired for being pregnant and her dire financial circumstances has her becoming an unlikely, reluctant and uncompromising star, dressed in a lab coat, with her popular TV cooking show, Supper at Six, focusing on the chemistry of ingredients and recipes, carrying her subversive and radical agenda of making women question and challenge the cultural misogyny and the limitations placed on their lives. Needless to say, this makes her some implacable enemies.

    What makes the strong and independent Zott able to face the unrelenting harsh pressures and problems that come her way are her close knit and growing family, at the centre of which is their protective genius dog no-one will be able to resist, Six-thirty, familiar with more than 600 words, neighbour Harriet Sloane, rower Dr Mason, her TV producer, Walter Pine, and the Reverend Wakely, perhaps we can include Miss Frask too. This is a remarkable, hilarious and unforgettable debut from Garmus, outrageously entertaining, with oodles of charm, and I have no doubt that this will be a runaway success on publication. Do yourself a favour and read this brilliant novel. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

  14. Verified owner Terrie Robinson (verified owner)

    “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus is a delightful debut novel!

    Elizabeth Zott, a research chemist at Hastings Research Institute, believes in equality, not a popular opinion in 1952. The all male research team she works with talks down to her rather than appreciating her as the driving force behind their projects. She’s weary of males talking over her when she presents her findings and taking credit for her work.

    The one exception to this is Calvin Evans, a gifted research scientist at HRI, and a two time Nobel-prize nominee, who has fallen in love with Elizabeth and her brilliant mind. The attraction is real!

    Elizabeth views herself as a scientist but knows, by experience, female scientists are virtually non-existent. Ten days before graduating with her master’s degree from UCLA, the admissions committee rescinded her application to the doctoral program.

    An ‘unfortunate event’ happened and Elizabeth actions were determined to be the cause. She knows that getting her PhD is no longer possible but she’ll never give up her dream. Her only regret is not having more No. 2 pencils to use when the ‘unfortunate event’ took place!

    Ten years later, Elizabeth is a single mother living with her adorable daughter, Madeline, their dog, Six-thirty, and hosting the daily TV cooking show, Supper at Six. The show is an instant hit and Elizabeth is the beautiful, but reluctant, star!

    In front of a live audience, Elizabeth uses her platform to not only teach women about the chemistry of cooking, but about life being more important than cooking! It’s about following your dream of having a family and a career just like men do!

    What a delightful story with a mid 20th Century timeline. If I could spend time with a character, it would absolutely be Elizabeth. I applaud her resilience, resourcefulness, and unwavering belief that women are as worthy as men. If I was in her shoes, I would wear a No. 2 pencil behind my ear or in my hair, too!

    A bit of a rebel, smart as a whip, she speaks her mind without holding back, and believes in what’s right. She loves her daughter and Six-thirty, the dog, who knows 600+ words and has a significant role in this story. He’s quite the canine character and loves Madeline and Elizabeth as much as they love him. It’s pretty special!

    This is an amazing debut novel with quirky characters, socially relevant topics, emotional swings, winks of humor and laugh-out-loud moments! I loved this story and I highly recommend this book!

  15. Verified owner Melissa (verified owner)

    Everything I love in a book—smart women, great dog, found family. Excellent read.

    I adored chemist Elizabeth Zott. She’s trying to exist in the “good old boys” world of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Where the woman’s place is in the home, remaining silent, and following along with what the men say. Yet Elizabeth isn’t wired that way, and the journey of this book shows her humor, warmth, and intelligence in a way that baffles the status quo.

    This novel is uplifting, at times infuriating, and still every time heartwarming and encouraging. We all could use a bit of Elizabeth Zott in our lives (and a smart wonderful dog like Six-Thirty)

    Highly recommended.

    I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  16. Verified owner Ms Ceecee (verified owner)

    I don’t think anything I can say will do this book justice. I love it from beginning to end and it will most certainly be in my top five reads of 2021.

    It’s November 1961 and chemist Elizabeth Zott, who works at the Hastings Institute, has fallen into a TV role hosting ‘Supper at Six’ and has become an unlikely star in the ascendant. Cooking is chemistry, chemistry is life. Elizabeth is far from your average ‘60’s woman. For a start she’s a single mother to Mad Zott, shock, horror, especially to Mad’s odious teacher. Have I mentioned the dog, Six-Thirty? A divine canine, a failed bomb detection dog of remarkable emotional intelligence. Ten years earlier, same Institute, Calvin Evans, introvert, grudge holder, a genius, an exceptionally good rower and desperate to find a girlfriend meets Elizabeth Zott, also a grudge holder especially against the patriarchy. Chemistry in every sense of the word.

    Ok, here goes. It’s inspiring, heartwarming, sad, joyous, intelligent, funny, witty, quirky, original,highly entertaining, life affirmingly brilliant and genius in my opinion! It captures the times, the patronising way women are treated ( can you see my lip curl and a developing snarl?) the assumptions, the blatant sexism and way worse which shocks you to the core even though you know it’s all true. She uses chemistry to reveal the dangers of a lob sided society which is completely one sided and to demonstrate the false limits on the potential of 50% of the population. It’s so cleverly done and I’m a science dunce but it made sense to me! The dialogue is excellent, at times it’s laugh out loud funny as it’s so well phrased or the mastery of a put down or understatement. Elizabeth is quite simply fabulous, I love her and want to be her but I’ll certainly need to mug up on the chemistry! Equally amazing is Mad and yes, let’s go back to the dog. As a massive dog lover to have Six-Thirty as a character in his own right is admirable and it works so well. I adore him and want to adopt him. The relationships are excellent too, some are a meeting of minds or to nurture, of love and admiration, of kinship and some are of professional jealousy or sabotage.

    Overall, you’ll have gathered that I think this debut is amazing and I urge you to read it. It has every ingredient of a book that fascinates, delights, charms and engages. If for nothing else read it for Six-Thirty … and to find his out he gets his name cos I’m not saying!!

  17. Verified owner Nina Kindred

    Hands down, this is so far, the best book I’ve read in 20 years. It has everything, and I mean everything!
    Elizabeth Zott is a 1950’s character who doesn’t fit that mold. She’s a modern thinking woman struggling with the social constraints of her time. She wants to be so much more than society is willing to let her be. She’s a chemist, and that’s her passion, even though she’s surrounded by a rat race full of men. She meets the one man, it feels like, in the world who understands her. Long story short; all of that leads to one of the moments where this book blindsided me with shockers. By the way, I love that.
    Along comes an extraordinary daughter, an intelligent pooch, and a neighbor who reveres Elizabeth’s audacity to be who she is with no apologies. By the way, we get to see things from every main characters’ viewpoint; even the doggy.
    It’s been years since I’ve read a book that had so many aspects, with so much to think about. It makes you think hard about the struggles of women in the world. It makes you appreciate how far we’ve come, even though there’s more work ahead. What Bonnie Garmus gave us was a character who had dreams, goals, and the guts to work to make it all happen. What she published was a book that was hard to put down.
    I loved the setup of Elizabeth hosting a TV cooking show. She broke the mold. She taught the housewives of the time why the food they cooked worked the way it did. She empowered her audience to understand what they dealt with in the kitchen, leading many to strive for something more in their lives.
    I loved this book for so many reasons. I loved it because Garmus showed us women who weren’t victims. I loved it because she showed us a unique way of empowering a generation. I loved it because the characters were strong and courageous and ahead of their time. I loved it because of the writing.
    In my opinion; you couldn’t find a better read. Thank you Bonnie Garmus! Please write another story!

  18. Verified owner SB Mama

    Prepare to be captivated by Bonnie Garmus’ enchanting novel, “Lessons in Chemistry,” a heartwarming and delightful tale that beautifully combines the wonders of science and the complexities of human relationships. Through her exquisitely crafted prose, Garmus takes readers on a remarkable journey that will leave them feeling enlightened, deeply moved, and inspired.

    Set in the early 1960s, “Lessons in Chemistry” introduces us to Elizabeth Zott, a driven and passionate young woman who finds herself caught between her dreams of becoming a scientist and the societal expectations that seek to confine her to the role of a housewife. Garmus masterfully portrays Elizabeth’s struggle to defy the odds and pursue her ambitions by landing a position as a television cooking show assistant. This unexpected opportunity sets the stage for a captivating exploration of career aspirations, personal growth, and the power of embracing one’s true self.

    What truly sets this novel apart is Garmus’ remarkable ability to seamlessly weave together the worlds of science and love. As Elizabeth navigates the complexities of her demanding job and an unexpected romance with a charismatic professor, readers are treated to a thought-provoking examination of the intersections between personal and professional aspirations. Garmus’ attention to detail shines through as she incorporates fascinating scientific principles into the narrative, making “Lessons in Chemistry” not just a love story but also a celebration of the joys of learning and discovery.

    Moreover, Garmus’ skillful rendering of her characters deepens the emotional resonance of the story. Elizabeth emerges as a strong and relatable protagonist, her journey serving as a powerful reminder that dreams are worth pursuing, no matter the obstacles that stand in our way. The supporting characters are equally well-developed, providing layers of authenticity and dynamics that make them truly unforgettable.

    Notably, Garmus’ prose is elegant, poetic, and infused with genuine emotion. She effortlessly transports the reader to a bygone era, immersing them in the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of the 1960s. From the bustling television studios to the hallowed halls of academia, every setting is brought to life in vivid detail, creating a rich and immersive reading experience.

    “Lessons in Chemistry” is not simply a book; it’s a celebration of women’s empowerment, the pursuit of dreams, and the courage to redefine societal norms. Bonnie Garmus has created a masterpiece that will resonate with readers long after they have turned the final page. If you are searching for a novel that will uplift, inspire, and remind you of the transformative power of love and intellect, “Lessons in Chemistry” is an absolute must-read. Prepare to be captivated by its beauty and left with a renewed belief in the endless possibilities that life has to offer.

  19. Verified owner Megan

    The book came in great shape, no bend pages or cover. Everything seemed to come in good condition. Happy with my purchase.

    What I Liked:
    • Some interesting scenes

    What Wasn’t My Cup of Tea:
    • Boring
    • Variant of the author’s life?
    • No interesting characters

    Overall Thoughts:
    I’ll first start off with, if the book is historical fiction, I’m probably not going to like it. It’s a fact. If I see a date in the synopsis, odds are, I’ll put it back. But, this book is being pushed everywhere, & it was Barnes & Nobles book of the year. Also, my sister-in-law asked for it for her birthday so I’d be reading a book I was curious about & buying her a gift at the same time, so, I thought it should be fine. I was not a fan.

    I wasn’t a fan of Elizabeth Zott as a character, she honestly seemed a little dull. Usually I like a character with quirks, but it was basically a lot of boring traits that just started to ramble after a little bit. Plus, every other character that was a man was just introduced as some kind of sexual deviant that it just got tiring.

    Then at the end there was the usual ‘author’s blurb’ thing on the back cover & it just felt like a slight retelling of Bonnie’s own story, she has a dog named 99, she’s a rower she worked in a science based field. It definitely put me off of the book a little more. It almost feels like when there’s someone just trying to shove their beliefs down your throat.

    Honestly, I just wasn’t a fan, there was some interesting parts but it was certainly a bit of a struggle to get through.

  20. Verified owner Trish Bush

    Why do so many scientists seem to believe that the only way to justify science is to demean God as the belief in Him. When in actuality, perfect science is seen in God.
    I did enjoy the book. I felt for Elizabeth. Having been born in 1950, I knew many women who were not recognized and rewarded for accomplishments. That’s recognition by the “world” but they were valued by all those who were blessed to know them
    Donnatti was an all familiar impersonation of many men of that time. However, there were good men who felt they had to work “within the system” as well. I’m glad Ms. Garmus recognized them as well. People are all unique. Calvin and Elizabeth had a special
    Bond. But it was limiting as well as rewarding. Their relationships with others helped to fuel the attitudes about them.

  21. Verified owner Dorislynn Quinones

    This book… THIS BOOK!!! I don’t really know where to start with this. I mean, this book made me feel A LOT. Elizabeth Zott is an odd, but charming chemist. And being a woman in the 1950s? Woof. Watching her struggles fighting for a place at the figurative table, watching inept men be lauded and get credit felt awful. Watching women tear each other down for the approval of men? Also terrible. But somehow Elizabeth Zott kept going. She was a true feminist queen, raising her daughter by herself following the tragic death of her true love.

    This novel weaves Elizabeth into the lives of so many, where she constantly inspires people to grow and be their best and fullest selves. Seeing that and feeling that, in the light of all she’s lost was incredibly empowering and I fully enjoyed this book.

    I will say that while there’s a slow start to the book, the set up was very necessary for the latter part of the book. It came together artfully and I very much recommend it.

  22. Verified owner Pieceful Quilter

    I loved this book. It’s so I’ll written. Although it takes place in the 60’s it’s subject is timely today. The lead character is ahighly educated woman trying to make her way in a male dominated field – chemistry. But when she finds herself in ok bc e with a coworker – totally against company policy – and pregnant and unmarried, her qualifucations for the job mean nothibg and she is out of a job. When she returns after the child is born and the man she loved is gone, she’s religated to a lower position. An issue at school between her daughter and another man’s child lands her into a new job cooking on a tv show … Using her chemistry knowledge. The book is thoughtful, sad but witty, laugh out loud funny at times. And it has the best dog character ever written … he knows hundreds of words, all in his head, and at times he is the narrator. Read it … Thank me later.

  23. Verified owner Sherry Sharpnack

    Elizabeth Zott is a chemist — or would like to be. Instead, she’s a chemist performing on a cooking show, in an apron, b/c she has a daughter to raise. Elizabeth has a precocious child; a totally-devoted dog who knows actual English words; a next-door neighbor turned housekeeper who is devoted to Elizabeth and Madeline; and a TV producer who has no idea what to do w/ her, how to get her to conform to society’s expected views of housewives and how they should be taught to cook. Elizabeth simply will not conform to anyone’s idea of a housewife.
    We then go back in time to learn HOW Elizabeth went from working on abiogenesis in a lab to being a single mother on a cooking show: horrifying misogyny, undermining by a fellow female, and heartbreak. But going forward, does Elizabeth make the cooking show work HER way? Does she convince her producer that SHE knows more about what housewives actually want — empowerment, not recipes? Does the dog find redemption for what it perceives as its own failing? Does Madeline find the answers for her class-project family tree?
    I seriously LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. I loved all the chemisty (explained really beautifully for the non-scientific reader); I loved that Elizabeth used rowing to help work out heartbreak. I loved that she simply kept. putting. one. foot. in. front. of. the. other. I loved her unusual relationship w/ her daughter. I loved the snarky comments and great similes. The tardiness of my review in no way reflects my opinion of this fabulous debut effort from Ms. Garmus. I’m keeping this one for re-reading. 5 full stars.

  24. Verified owner Haley Northrup

    It’s goes to show that as I was reading this I would think to myself “that would NEVER happen” or “that’s just not how things are for women.” But I think those thoughts are apart of what you’re supposed to feel as you read. Disbelieving of Elizabeth Zotts audacity to pursue a career she knows she can succeed in despite the obvious drawback of being a woman (/s) is apart of the whole point. It’s an uphill battle, a fantasy, and everything turns out nicely. You can believe even those that have struggled the most, and have loved and have lost, can still find peace and happiness and family on the very end of all of it.

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