At first blush, Lessons in Chemistry looks like fluff, but actually, there is much more to it. Elizabeth Zott is a chemist in the 50’s and early ’60’s, who fights sexism on every front, and dares women to change the status quo.
Elizabeth Zott is a quirky, very original character. I loved her staunch assumption that feminism makes logical sense. I applauded her resilience, and her refusal to pander to male egos. She is definitely ahead of her time, fearless in the face of adversity, and possibly somewhere on the spectrum, before those things were identified. Her brilliant uniqueness is a strength for her but a struggle for everybody else. It is great to root for someone so competent. Additionally, she applies chemistry to cooking!
There is a crisp zing to the writing here that was refreshing. It captures the patronizing way women are treated, without for an instant letting that be ok. The writing elicited from me a large span of emotions, and there are some serious themes here.
There is also a discussion regarding the contrast between science and faith, which I found interesting, while I don’t personally see this as an irreconcilable dichotomy. There is also a fabulous dog and a completely precocious child.
I’ve been that person fighting for gender equality my whole life, so I’m not sure how that colored my enjoyment of this book. Wondering if you’ll have the same reaction, I’ll reign myself in and give this one 4 stars. One thing is abundantly clear: how far we have come. Thank goodness.