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  • Writer's pictureNeighborhood Reads

Laurie's Pick: "Lessons in Chemistry" by Bonnie Garmus

Elizabeth Zott is an accomplished chemist working at the Hastings Institute during the 1960s. Her male colleagues do not respect her, and the women she works with resent her for being smart and attractive.

This all changes when she meets Calvin Evans. Calvin is a brilliant Nobel Prize nominee, who is also somewhat of a misfit. Calvin introduces Elizabeth to his love of rowing, a male dominated sport. He never seems to see her as restricted by her sex, and adores her for her intelligence and spunk. However, fate takes hold, and Elizabeth finds herself a single unwed mother. Without Calvin to protect her, she is reduced to hosting a cooking show, which she quickly brands with her own unique style. With her precocious daughter and amazing dog by her side, Elizabeth challenges the world to take women seriously.

This book is truly about girl power and never giving up. Elizabeth proves that gender roles are ridiculous, and women should dream big and question their priorities. She attacks the horrendous issues facing women during this era with courage and ferocity. This book was very relatable to me. I laughed. I cried. I paused to reflect. I enjoyed every word.

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