THE NEW YORK TIMES AND SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER, WITH OVER 6 MILLION COPIES SOLD
Now a major Apple TV series starring Brie Larson
'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, she 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 leave her job at the institute, she soon finds herself the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six.
But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook.
She's daring them 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, Books are My Bag and many more
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
'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
'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.
Riveting! Cover to cover.
I could not put Lessons in Chemistry down. I enjoyed this book, the pace, the characters, the humour, the outrage and the turns. One of my favourite books now. I am eagerly awaiting the TV adaptation this October.
Loved this book from the first chapter to the last!
Lessons in chemistry
So so clever. And sad and funny. Loved it.