Lessons in Chemistry

Books on Tape. Apr. 2022. 11:55 hrs. ISBN 9780593507544. $95. F
Miranda Raison delivers a spirited performance of Garmus’s inventive debut novel. A copywriter and creative director by trade, Garmus has crafted an inspiring protagonist in the brilliant, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott, a chemist facing extreme misogyny in the 1950s and ’60s. After surviving a harrowing sexual assault that ruined her chance at an organic chemistry PhD, Zott takes her UCLA master’s degree and accepts a job at nearby Hastings Research Institute, where she falls in love with the equally driven Calvin Evans, a Nobel Prize–nominated scientist. After enduring another personal tragedy and more harassment, Zott leaves the Institute to host the local TV show Supper at Six in which she shows respect for her homemaker viewers by focusing on the chemistry behind cooking and nutrition. Absolutely fabulous as Chef Zott, Raison also wonderfully portrays Garmus’s delightful cast of secondary characters, which include a budding feminist neighbor and an extremely intelligent dog.
VERDICT Sparkling with humor and tragedy, sharp prose, underdog heroes, evil villains, and a mostly happy ending, this must-have title is a Good Morning America Book Club selection and forthcoming Apple TV series. Includes an author interview.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing