Lessons in Chemistry

Garmus, Bonnie

  15 Reviews

The only certain thing is change ... something that Elizabeth Zott can attest to, not only in her work as a research chemist battling the gender inequality of the time, but in her life in general. It is California in the 1950s and 60s, so when Elizabeth becomes pregnant, she loses her job. But change is afoot... and as the reluctant star of a TV cooking show, she initiates her own quiet revolution.

Engaging and entertaining, this satisfying story, with its quirky and resourceful heroine, illuminates the sexism and misogyny of decades past.

Comments from BDS Reviewers

"Quirky and highly original. It was fun to read."

"The themes for discussion suggest that this is a 'heavy' book, but somehow it isn't. It is balanced and often fun."

'Incredible (but unfortunately also believable) sexism, both overt and covert."

"I had experienced gender inequality when I was younger and found this book quite sad. It brought it all back to me again."

"Laugh out loud funny."

"Sad and romantic in places. Hopeful and frustrating. Engaging on every page."

"A well-constructed book in terms of pace; it never slowed down."

"The book highlights the prejudice women encountered in the 1950s."

"I found it fun to read but it also deals with important themes like gender inequality, sexual abuse, toxicity in academic institutions and big companies."

"I found the humour a little 'corny' and the story seemed a bit superficial."



WELL 041
A simply wonderful read, a laugh-out-loud story which delighted all of us. We loved the dog 'Six-Thirty' and daughter 'Mad', and how she refused to be corralled like the women of the 60s were.
All enjoyed the book - a fun read on sadly familiar themes.
All of our group really enjoyed this book. Lots of surprises and lots of layers, all keep the reader entertained/amazed and wondering what was going to happen next. A great read with some great messages.
AUCK 050
An absolutely delightful read, enjoyed by all 10 members without exception. It provoked a lively, funny conversation.
NELS 048
All members of our group really enjoyed the book. Many were reminded of how things had been for women in the 50s/60s.
Stimulated a lively discussion about women and their place in society. Was this theme over-played in this book Notwithstanding, it was the first book this year that everyone in the group enjoyed.
Everyone enjoyed it!
CHCH 001
All comments were positive! Fabulous writing, easy to read, entertaining, loved the dog, brilliant and so on - never before have the group's opinions been so aligned - a great read.
AUCK 027
This book was enjoyed by everyone, although we felt it was a little predictable. Characters were good and we loved the dog. Refreshing!!
CHCH 552
Everyone in our group loved the book. A very enjoyable read and makes us appreciate how far things have come but that there is still room for improvement with equality in the workplace, perhaps in some fields more so than others. We all loved the magic that Six-Thirty brought to the book as a character and we enjoyed the questions - they prompted some great discussion.
Overall the group enjoyed the book, but found there were far too many discussion questions.
CHCH 145
Everyone really appreciated the book. Not always a comfortable read facing some very uncomfortable issues, but done in a witty and quirky way. Full of 'moments', gems and wisdom.
WELL 074
Much enjoyed by most of our group. We appreciated the deadpan humour and reflections on the life of a woman in the 1960s. Some felt the number of coincidences was extreme and overly used but generally agreed it was a good read.
AUCK 116
We loved the book. A serious issue covered with style and humour. We found many laugh out loud moments. A first novel - hope there are many more.
Light read. Enjoyed by all. Discussions mainly centred on the use of humour to approach such a serious topic - misogyny - and why the writer chose this style.