By Lauren Boni, Senior Account Director
Book: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus *spoiler free (sort of…)*
I find book reviews are often from readers who are bibliophiles on overdrive. I’m more of a book nibbler or a literary grazer, basically a one-book-a-month kinda gal. Which is perfect because Launch’s book club is every 6/7 weeks depending on the book size.
Now, if you were to Google: “What is Lessons in Chemistry about?” you will find… “It follows the story of Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant chemist who is forced to become a television chef when she finds herself a young, single mother.”
This is all true BUT it is about so much more than that, which is probably why it has received a plethora of Book of the Year wins and you’ll *nearly* see a 5-star review landslide about this bestselling writing debut.
Woof. I inhaled this book and the only time I came up for air was to tell people about it, seriously. My husband said to me that he feels like he read this book (he hasn’t) because I may or may not have laboured every page, every chapter, in detail. In all seriousness though, the book is an easy read and will translate flawlessly onto screen too (more on that later).
But if I’m honest, it was always going to be a solid winner for me because it has…
✅ A strong female character.
✅ Rowing (IYKYK).
✅ Laugh out loud humour.
✅ Gut-wrenchingly sad, uncomfortable, and furious moments.
✅ A dog called Six-Thirty (who may just be my favourite literary dog of all time – sorry Snowy).
It’s warm, it’s thought-provoking but fun, it’s got short chapters which deliver a speedy and conversational style. I hated chemistry at school but let me tell you, if I had Elizabeth Zott as my teacher, I’d be a chemist and maybe working in ER, not PR.
She’s a woman after my own heart. And thank you Bonnie for writing a protagonist that is REAL. Unbelievably relatable, Elizabeth is a rationalist that’s unconventional, daring and powerful.
Set in the 60s, when men dominated work and said workplaces were insufferable for intelligent, strong and brilliant women, the book follows Elizabeth’s story pioneering to fight to challenge society and not conform. Served with a side portion of casual misogyny… always a crowd-pleaser.
It deals with some hard-hitting storylines but that’s what makes it a real page-turner and ultimately, this is one satisfying read. Which is why this is a pretty bold statement but CUFF ME because this has by far been my favourite novel of the Launch book club thus far. And we read it as a hardback. Yep. That’s real commitment right there.
It’s been a long time since I’ve liked a book this much so if this piques your interest, buy it, devour it, and let us know what you think.
P.S If you’re not into reading then you can catch it on Apple TV+ in October as Brie Larson takes on the role of Elizabeth Zott. Can’t bloody wait.