THE 6-MILLION-COPY BESTSELLER AND PRIZE-WINNER
Now a major Apple TV series starring Brie Larson
'I loved it' Nigella Lawson
'The most charming, life-enhancing novel I've read in ages' Sunday Times
'Thought-provoking and stylish' Guardian
Your ability to change everything - including yourself - starts here
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.
But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Forced to resign, she reluctantly signs on as the host of a cooking show, Supper at Six. But her revolutionary approach to cooking, fuelled by scientific and rational commentary, grabs the attention of a nation.
Soon, a legion of overlooked housewives find themselves daring to change the status quo. One molecule at a time.
A Book of the Year for: Guardian, Times, Sunday Times, New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Woman & Home, Stylist, TLS, Oprah Daily, Newsweek, Mail on Sunday, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, India Knight, Hay Festival, Waterstones, Amazon and many others
Winner of the Goodreads Choice Best Debut Novel Award
Author of the Year at the British Book Awards
As read on BBC Radio Four
A BBC TV 'Between the Covers' pick
Hay Festival Book of the Year
Winner of the Books are My Bag Reader's Choice Award
Winner of the Books are My Bag Breakthrough Author Award
Shortlisted for the HWA Crown Award
'Biting and cheerIng in equal measure' Jojo Moyes
'I loved Lessons in Chemistry and am devastated to have finished it!' Nigella Lawson
'Laugh-out-loud funny and brimming with life, generosity and courage' Rachel Joyce
'A novel that sparks joy with every page' Elizabeth Day
'Witty and sometimes hilarious ... the Catch-22 of early feminism' Stephen King
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A fiery encounter with another parent leads to a drastic career change for chemist Elizabeth Zott, who finds herself the unlikely host of a hit TV cooking show. Unconventional and fiercely intelligent, Elizabeth relishes the chance to subvert the notion that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” in front of a national audience. Bonnie Garmus’ debut novel playfully probes the cultural stereotypes of its 1960s setting as Elizabeth challenges her viewers to change the status quo. In single mother Elizabeth, Garmus has crafted a vibrant and unforgettable heroine—a role model for self-determination who will have you cheering for her success. The story is clever and uplifting, and the writing wonderfully deft. At its core is a message of ambition, capability and self-acceptance.
Garmus debuts with a perplexing feminist fairy tale set in 1960s Southern California. Plucky chemist Elizabeth Zott believes she's not like other women ("Most of the women she'd met in college claimed they were only there to get their MRS," Garmus writes. "It was disconcerting, as if they'd all drunk something that had rendered them temporarily insane"). She proceeds to fall madly in love with her colleague, have his child, and then, after being sidelined by double standards, sexual harassment, and scandal around her pregnancy, she's dismissed from her job and becomes an overnight sensation as the host of a daytime cooking show. This trajectory, and its few tragedies, are intermittently interrupted by the anthropomorphized thoughts of her dog, Six-Thirty: "Humans were strange, Six-Thirty thought, the way they constantly battled dirt in their aboveground world, but after death willingly entombed themselves in it." In the end, everything works out—not because the patriarchy is destroyed or fairness is achieved, but thanks to the favors of a rich female benefactor equipped to strike back at those who humiliated Zott. While the scenes of Zott hosting her show do have their charm, the overall effect is about as deep as a Hallmark card. The author has a great voice, but contemporary readers will be left wondering who this is for.
Couldn’t put it down
I wish I had read this book as an adolescent!
I was too young but it mirrors my life experiences.
original and well written
Loved the story and it’s so well written. Great style.