Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Restaurant Critic's Wife by Elizabeth LaBan

The Restaurant Critic's WifeSummary:

Lila Soto has a master’s degree that’s gathering dust, a work-obsessed husband, two kids, and lots of questions about how exactly she ended up here.

In their new city of Philadelphia, Lila’s husband, Sam, takes his job as a restaurant critic a little too seriously. To protect his professional credibility, he’s determined to remain anonymous. Soon his preoccupation with anonymity takes over their lives as he tries to limit the family’s contact with anyone who might have ties to the foodie world. Meanwhile, Lila craves adult conversation and some relief from the constraints of her homemaker role. With her patience wearing thin, she begins to question everything: her decision to get pregnant again, her break from her career, her marriage—even if leaving her ex-boyfriend was the right thing to do. As Sam becomes more and more fixated on keeping his identity secret, Lila begins to wonder if her own identity has completely disappeared—and what it will take to get it back.

My take: 4 looks

I expected something totally different from this book. I am not sure why. It was a preconceived notion on my part. A completely incorrect preconceived notion. I expected to read a light, fluffy book about the ins and outs of being married to a restaurant critic, long and laborious descriptions of food and locales, and maybe some recipes.

No way. Instead, I read a wonderfully evolving character study of a woman, wife, mother, friend, daughter.

Lila is instantly likable and completely relatable. Which of us moms, at some point in our mothering, have felt that we are the only mom on the planet who does not have her proverbial act together? Who, as a wife, has not been hurt by the feeling that the husband's career is more important than yours, at least in his mind?

I could go on, but the point here is that Lila is everyone of us. To read her journey from career woman to married woman to mother of one, then mother of two ... it is a journey that unfolds as naturally as a rose in June. LaBan hit the mark with me on this one, and it was a delight to read. I was truly sorry it was over, and will read more by her.

Highly recommended.

This book was offered to me by in exchange for my honest review.

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