Lessons In Chemistry is set in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The story revolves around Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant chemist who, due to her circumstances as a young, single mother, finds herself transitioning into a television chef. The writing style is both witty and humorous, engaging the reader from start to finish. Each character, including the endearing canine companion Six-Thirty, leaves a lasting impression. The character development and the unusual yet captivating plot is amazing especially when you discover Garmus is a debut author.
While “Lessons In Chemistry” delves into themes of misogyny, feminism, found family, and self-worth, it pleasantly defied my initial expectations of being a light-hearted romance novel. I kept getting a sense of how unusual the female protagonist is in this novel- it’s because Zott challenges the typical portrayal of fictional women in popular culture. Apple TV+‘s adaptation comes out in the fall and the trailer looks fantastic! And it’s giving strong female character energy like in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel- which I highly recommend checking out if you haven’t already.
Here are some of my highlights.
- “Whenever you start doubting yourself, whenever you feel afraid, just remember. Courage is the root of change and change is what we’re chemically designed to do.”
- “I don’t have hopes,” Mad explained, studying the address. “I have faith.” He looked at her in surprise. “Well, that’s a funny word to hear coming from you.” “How come?” “Because,” he said, “well, you know. Religion is based on faith.” “But you realize,” she said carefully, as if not to embarrass him further, “that faith isn’t based on religion. Right?”
- “Some things needed to stay in the past because the past was the only place they made sense.”