Tag Archives: Feminism

Review: Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry
By Bonnie Garmus
Doubleday, 9780385547345, April 5, 2022, 400pp.

The Short of It:

Pure fun with a little bit of science and feminism.

The Rest of It:

Elizabeth Zott is a chemist. In the 60s. She is brilliant, but pegged as “difficult”. Her discoveries are impressive but not to her peers. Her male peers consider her to be more of a lab tech than a ground-breaking scientist. When she uncovers something big, her male boss takes credit for it. None of this is new to Zott. It began in school and unfortunately affected the job offers she received. This is how she ends up at Hastings, a research institute run by a total tool.

It is at Hastings that she meets Calvin. Calvin, is a well-known scientist and a hot commodity for Hastings. He could have worked anywhere but chose Hastings for its mild climate. You see, he is also a rower so good weather year-round was a plus even though he could have gone anywhere.

Lessons in Chemistry surprised me. From the cover, I had ZERO interest in reading it. It looked like one of those fluffy romance reads. But then I read an article that praised it on many levels. And then my book club selected it for this month’s pick. So, not only did I find a copy, I BOUGHT a copy. Something I rarely do. It surprised me in many ways:

  • It’s full of science but masked as cooking tips
  • Zott is difficult, but in a very likable way
  • There is an adorable dog
  • Yes, there is romance but not fluffy, silly stuff
  • There are highs and lows. Not all happy stuff
  • It does illustrate the difficulties that women faced in that decade

This is one of those feel-good reads. It will be on my fave list at the end of the year because it includes love, loss, overwhelming challenges, and in my opinion, some really great characters. However, with all that good, it was predictable, which is why this is a four star read for me. It’s predictability did not affect my enjoyment while reading it though. I eagerly looked forward to it every time I picked it up.

If you passed this one over due it its cover alone, give it a go.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Outlawed


By Anna North
Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635575422, January 2021, 272pp.

The Short of It:

A rollicking adventure unlike anything I’ve read.

The Rest of It:

In 1894, young Ada is seventeen and newly married to a man she loves but after a year of not getting pregnant, his family wants to know what’s wrong with her. Ada’s mother is a midwife for the town and her advice is to sleep with another man to get the job done. When that proves fruitless and women in town begin to lose their own babies, the finger is pointed towards Ada. Only a witch like Ada would cause such bad luck to fall upon the town.

Ada is heartbroken. She loves her family but also knows from her mother’s wisdom that the town is out for blood and with a young girl killed at the gallows recently, Ada is sent to live at a convent. But at this convent, she learns of a group of people who might be able to help her. The Hole in the Wall gang are a bunch of outlaws who go through their lives thieving but their freedom and sense of community appeals to Ada so she sets out to find them.

This is a Western but not the kind you’ve grown-up with. This band of rebels is headed up by The Kid. The Kid has vowed to protect outcast women but this proves more and more challenging as their supplies dwindle and the Sheriff from Ada’s hometown takes to the hills to look for her.

There are a few surprises which I won’t giveaway here but this was a completely unique story which I enjoyed very much. I will say, that about halfway through it seemed to drag a little. The group gets comfortable and the action ceases but it quickly picks up again. I blew through this story in just a few hours. What a fun, adventurous read.

Content Note: 

The story touches on some sensitive topics and at times discusses the baby Jesus. Just so you know, the two don’t always jive with one another. I wanted to mention this for anyone who might be sensitive to it. Think feminism, women’s rights, gender roles, etc.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.