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June 23, 2023

My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Publisher - Doubleday
Genre - Historical Fiction
Publishing year - 2022
Language - English
ISBN - 978-0-8575-2813-1
Pages - 390

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Book Review - 

Lessons in Chemistry is a debut book written by Bonnie Garmus. It is a tale that seamlessly blends chemistry, feminism, and personal transformation challenges. Set in the early 1960s, the novel introduces us to Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant chemist working at the Hastings Research Institute, where gender equality remains a distant dream. 

However, Elizabeth's life takes an unexpected turn when she catches the attention of Calvin Evans, a lonely genius with a penchant for holding grudges, who falls in love with her intellect. Their undeniable chemistry sparks a chain of events that will forever change Elizabeth's life's trajectory.  

The author masterfully weaves the worlds of science and daily life, highlighting the parallels between the unpredictable nature of both. Elizabeth's journey evolves from being a single mother to becoming an unlikely star on America's popular cooking show, Supper at Six. 

Elizabeth challenges societal norms through her unorthodox cooking methods, which involve using scientific techniques like combining acetic acid with sodium chloride instead of saying vinegar and salt, etc. She encourages women to think beyond the confines of traditional gender roles.

Elizabeth Zott is portrayed as a multifaceted and resilient protagonist who defies stereotypes and inspires readers with her determination and passion. However, Elizabeth's journey was far from idyllic, fraught with challenges and obstacles. Not only did she face discrimination and ridicule from men, but women also played a part in humiliating and demeaning her. 

Yet as the saying goes, not everyone is cut from the same cloth. In her darkest moments, Elizabeth found unexpected support from Harriet and Walter. These two individuals extended their helping hands when she needed it the most, reminding her that compassion and kindness can be found in the most unimaginable places.

Bonnie Garmus's writing style is richly descriptive, immersing readers in the vibrant settings and the era's societal atmosphere. The story explores gender equality, the pursuit of dreams, and the transformative power of embracing one's true self. 

The author expertly combines scientific knowledge with engaging storytelling, making the complex world of chemistry accessible to readers of all backgrounds. The narration effortlessly balances heartwarming moments, comedic situations, and profound reflections on society, leaving readers both entertained and inspired.

The novel celebrates the strength and resilience of women who challenge the status quo, reminding us of the progress made and the work that still lies ahead. Overall, it is a great book, and whether you're a science enthusiast, a historical fiction buff, or simply searching for a captivating story, this book is a must-read that will leave a lasting impression.

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