Lessons in Chemistry – by Bonnie Garmus – independent book review – Fiction

What a COMPLETE delight! Awarded five stars on Goodreads.

Here’s the best way I can describe this book:
Imagine a smart, honest, and capable woman with today’s feminist sensibilities. She expects to get into the best schools. She expects to land a good job. She expects to be paid what her male colleagues are paid. And she is not limited by any societal expectations that her ONLY goal in life should be marriage, housework, and motherhood. Then, drop this woman anywhere in 1950s America. And sit back and watch the fun!

With lots of humor and irony (and the surprising wisdom of a SUPER smart dog), author Bonnie Garmus slowly unfolds the world of Elizabeth Zott. A brilliant chemist pitted against the male dominated world of scientific research.

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY, however, is also a love story — when Elizabeth winds up working in the same facility where the internationally renowned scientist Calvin Evans works.

Don’t imagine this bestseller is all fluff, though. Both Elizabeth and Calvin have known tragedy in their backgrounds and experience more in this book. And true to post World War II America, society has a rigid double standard. There are limited opportunities for women. Unjust assumptions and blatant discrimination. Plenty of sexual harassment. Even rape. Enough to infuriate ANY contemporary reader.

Author Bonnie Garmus
Photo from her Website

But skillfully, Garmus has found just the right balance to make the story an enjoyable read. And if that weren’t enough, along the way, she even makes chemistry interesting!

I found myself eager to turn every page, desperate to know how Elizabeth’s life plays out. And whether a happy ending might be possible.

One of the most enjoyable books I’ve read. Ever. Don’t miss it!

More about the author, Bonnie Garmus.

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