September 22, 2023
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Lessons in Chemistry
Book Reviews Fiction History

Lessons in Chemistry-Your Go To Fantastic Feminism Novel

Author: Bonnie Garmus

Genre: Comedy – Historical Fiction

Year Published: 2022

Nerdection Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Nerdection Must read”

Lessons in Chemistry is a humorous historical fiction written by Bonnie Garmus.

The story revolves around women’s lives, careers, and struggle for empowerment in the late 50s and early 60s.

The book tells the story of a woman named Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant chemist who is forced to become a television chef after ending up being a young, single mother.

At its heart, Lessons in Chemistry is a romantic love story. Elizabeth, who is depicted as extremely gorgeous, falls for a geeky, brilliant Ph.D. with a tragic past, the one person who truly sees her as more than just a pretty face. She loves him and also loves chemistry.

Spoiler Free Plot:

Elizabeth Zott is a brilliant research scientist who is tired of being a second-class individual just because she is a woman.

Elizabeth is a top-grade research scientist and chemist but does not get treated as an equal and when her department demotes her while the department head steals her work and publishes it as his own, she quits.

She meets her soul mate, Calvin Evans, who treats her as an equal partner and acknowledges her cleverness. She has the most unemotionally rational approach to everyday nonsense, for example, that women should wear comfortable clothes and all the other ridiculous (and unreasonable) social “rules”.

Due to a wild event, she ends up doing an afternoon cooking show named “Supper at Six”. The producer wanted an ordinary air-headed afternoon cooking show based on the presumption that bored housewives did not want to be bothered by substantial programming, but Zott would have none of it. She basically believed that long-underestimated housewives deserved to be treated as smart people who have been rudely sidelined and should be taught what cooking was all about.

The show became a hit because Elizabeth was right. Women did not like being talked down to. She insisted on using “sodium chloride” instead of salt and “acetic acid” instead of vinegar. She described dishes by explaining the chemical reactions that made them happen. And the viewing audience loved her descriptions. Instead of having the quick death that the producer expected for the show, it was a smash hit. It got syndicated around the country and she became a national hero among women. Women not only learned to cook the dishes and the chemistry behind them, but also understood how they had been treated as second-class citizens and minds for far too long.

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“When women understand chemistry, they begin to understand how things work. When women understand these basic concepts, they can begin to see the false limits that have been created for them.”

My Take On This Book:

Elizabeth Zott is fearless in the face of adversity, she stays true to herself, and she never lets others intimidate her into being less than all she can be.

This story has the most wonderful collection of supporting characters who add so much color and spirit to the whole environment.

This book contains all the hallmarks of the very best stories. It makes you laugh, feel, think, and wonder. It fills a person with joy and lifts spirits

This is one of those books that you can not put down once you have started it. It is that good and is filled with laughable talks and situations. While it is filled with marvelous humor, it does address deeper subjects including discrimination, misogyny, patriarchal abuse, the flaws of societal norms, the impacts and triumphs of refusing to fit in as well as the topics of grief, loss, and redemption. The main characters are delightful and unforgettable. If you want an entertaining book to read that also tweaks your conscience, then grab this one, sit down and enjoy the ride! Highly recommended! And 5/5 stars!

About the Author of Lessons in Chemistry

Bonnie Garmus is a copywriter and creative director who has worked widely in the fields of technology, medicine, and education. She’s an open-water swimmer, a rower, and mother to two pretty amazing daughters. Born in California and most recently from Seattle, she currently lives in London with her husband and her dog, 99. [bonniegarmus]

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