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Lessons in Chemistry: The No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller and BBC Between the Covers Book Club pick

(104 customer reviews)

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104 reviews for Lessons in Chemistry: The No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller and BBC Between the Covers Book Club pick

  1. Wendy (verified owner)

    Page turner

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book – saw the review on tv and agree with all that was said. The book was written in short chapters and paragraphs and it was hard to put down. It was easy to read. It kept you guessing as to how the story would end. I loved the way Elizabeth retorted to comments made to her and she kept to her beliefs. The dog was a good addition to the story. I was sorry to come to the end of the book and intend to read it again.

  2. Adlam (verified owner)

    Where’s the editor in all this?!

    As a first novel, the book was quirky, engaging and enjoyable. Not brilliantly written, commercial in style, but fun to read. But where was the editor? Come on Doubleday… a publisher like you should have sorted this out. A ‘talking’ dog that takes over the narration? Why? We randomly learn that Elizabeth has a fear of losing someone, just before the inevitable happens. This should have been woven in far earlier – it makes the narrative really clunky. Some howling cliches. It’s a good read though, but the new author should have been given better guidance.

  3. alifabw (verified owner)

    Just fabulous

    I read this after it was recommended on BBC 2’s Between the Covers and, like them, I loved it. It is a joyous read, moving, thought-provoking, and in places laugh out loud funny, while in others horrifying and sad. It documents the struggle of women in 1960s America to be recognised as equal to men, told through the eyes of Elizabeth Zott, who refuses to be defined by the stereotypes of the day. She is a unique individual and I really cared about what happens to her. I found the book very hard to put down and feel slightly bereft now that I’ve finished it.

  4. Unknown (verified owner)

    This is an exceptional book.

    I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this book, but on hearing its review on the BBC, ‘Between the Covers’, I thought I would start it and see how it went. I have read it in three days! I have smiled, especially at six-thirty’s input, I have cried, and having lived through the fifties and sixties, recognised the discrimination women endured as normal in those two decades particularly, (and still do to some extent.)What comes across is a difficult read in some places, but a warm and inspiring book, with the best part for me, a conclusion that satisfied my need for tying up all the loose ends.Fantastic read!

  5. LNC (verified owner)

    A fabulous quirky feminist romp

    Surprising and so well written. It’s been a while since I read a book that made me laugh out loud, have a tear in my eye and a cheer.Brava Bonnie Harm is and her excellent creations

  6. Steven (verified owner)

    Lives up to all the positive reviews.

    Not often I come across a book that I really can’t put down but this is one. Now I could justifiably trot out a series of superlatives to describe ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ instead I’ll say just read it you won’t regret it.

  7. Derry11 (verified owner)

    The Perfect Book

    It’s not often that books come along telling a story that you know will stay with you forever. This is one of them. It is truly wonderful. Read it.

  8. Sam Schofield (verified owner)

    Just wonderful

    I read about Lessons in Chemistry on a book mailing list a while back and instantly put it on my Want to Read list. I then applied for a copy on Netgalley, but there was so much interest in it I was very much surprised, but delighted, when I was given an ARC. Thank you to Netgalley and Random House. The book did not disappoint. Elizabeth Zolt became my hero from the opening pages. The characters are all well written, the good and the bad. The story moves well and never falters, it is such a page turner. Throughout the book I went from joy, to sadness to incandescent with rage and then back to joy again. Bonnie Gamus has perfectly captured the injust way woman have been, and are, treated. She has a new fan in me and this book is going to sit with me for a long time. I wish her every success as a novelist and I hope she writes many more books.

  9. Michael M. Murray (verified owner)

    A chemical blast of a novel

    What a chemical reaction I had with this work. It blew me out of the water. Really reminded me of the story telling style of John Irving, a well told tale, full of quirky characters that’s as entertaining as hell. Fair play to the novelist, a successful career behind her and an even more promising one ahead.Highly recommended.Oh and if you’re a writer that enters the first 500 word novel competitions, take a look at how this author does it… what a masterclass.

  10. Nicola (verified owner)

    A gem of a debut!!

    I want to start this review by saying that I thought that I had read some amazing books already this year, ones that I had given 5 stars, I was wrong, having now read this stunner of a book. My 5 star reads from this point forward will all be measured on this book – this is my 5 star barometer!!Elizabeth Zott is a Chemist in the 1960’s, the only problem is that everyone else sees her as everything but that! Her male colleagues won’t take her seriously and see her as nothing but a woman who has ideas above her station. Although they are all threatened by her greatness and are more than happy to steal her work. All apart from Calvin Evans who is also a chemist and known for his greatness in the field of science. Calvin never looks down on Elizabeth and they start a relationship that would have beautifully stood the test of time.Unfortunately life doesn’t always go to plan and Elizabeth finds herself alone and as a single mother. She finds herself presenting a tv show called Supper at Six, she uses this as her platform to give ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ to the women of America who she knows are meant to be doing greater things than being typecast as a wife and mother – she empowers them to do great things with their lives.From the first to the very last word of this book I was hooked. Elizabeth Zott is an absolute legend of a main character, I was rooting for her throughout the whole story. This book is fiction, but it had me pondering on more than one occasion what it must have been like to be a woman at this time, I’m so glad that women like Elizabeth Zott make it possible for me to have the life and freedom that I have today.Elizabeth is a very serious character, a bit like her story but it is told with comedic moments that did have me laughing out loud, especially how her daughter Mad got her name. She is such an endearing leading lady that you would love to have someone like her stood in your corner as your mother, aunt, sibling or best friend.If you’re after a book that will leave your heart full, then look no further than this absolute masterpiece of a debut from Bonnie Garmus.

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