Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 400 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hours and 55 minutes
First Published: 2022
Elizabeth Zott has always defied stereotyping, especially as the only woman chemist at the Hastings Research Institute in the 1960s. After falling in love with another chemist who sees her for who she is, life throws her a curveball. Now as a single mom, she unexpectedly finds herself the host of a tv cooking show. When Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking charms her audience, the women who watch her begin to question the status quo in their own lives, making Elizabeth a target of those who find the change unwelcome.
At first, I ignored the popular buzz around Lessons in Chemistry, thinking it would be your stereotypical historical romance. To my surprise, I found the book has a love story but isn’t a romance. Instead, Garmus presents an engrossing progressive historical fiction read with heartfelt depth and a searing look at sex discrimination in the past (and today).
A must-read debut! Meet Elizabeth Zott: a one-of-a-kind scientist in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the unlikely star of a beloved TV cooking show.
Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.
But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.
Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.
About Bonnie Garmus
Bonnie Garmus is a copywriter, creative director, and author of Lessons in Chemistry. Garmus currently lives in London. Visit the author’s website →