I was lucky enough to be sent an advanced copy of ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ by Bonnie Garmus, and I was over the moon, as this is a book that I have seen all over bookstagram and was very keen to read. Oh, and Bonnie Garmus will be at the April ‘Tasting Notes Live’ from the Book Taster so I was even more excited to get stuck in.
This book is such a joy to read and brilliantly tackles social issues of the 1960s. Set in California, Elizabeth is a brilliant chemist with a passion for science, but her gender is holding her back, as those around her do not believe that women should be in science and academia – and that includes some of the women around her. As Elizabeth deals with the fact that she wants to break those social stereotypes, she falls in love, loses her love and discovers that she is pregnant, making her a unmarried single mother in a world where these things are just not done. However, her destiny takes another path as Elizabeth unashamedly continues to be just herself, inspiring many around her to do exactly the same.
This is not all that is in this book: there is also an element of mystery as Elizabeth’s daughter decides to try and find out about her father’s past. Oh, and ‘Half Past Six’ the dog has a voice too – which is not quite as strange as it sounds. In fact, it is perfection.
I am not sure I can do this book justice. I do have to confess that it was a little bit of a slow burn for me but, once it hooked me in, I could not put it down. I just wanted to make sure that Elizabeth, her family and friends got the stories they deserved. It will definitely have you cursing the constraints on women in the past and make you realise that we have come some way – but maybe not quite as far as we all hope we have.
So, if you want to read something with brilliant characters, a lovely story and an important message, then I really recommend that you pick up a copy of the lovely ‘Lessons in Chemistry’.