At the end of a long night, Elizabeth leans against the industrial oven and takes in her kingdom. Once vibrant and flawless, evenings in the kitchen now feel chaotic and exhausting. She’s lost her culinary magic, and business is slowing down.
When worried investors enlist the talents of a tech-savvy celebrity chef to salvage the restaurant, Elizabeth feels the ground shift beneath her feet. Not only has she lost her touch; she’s losing her dream.
And her means of escape.
When her mother died, Elizabeth fled home and the overwhelming sense of pain and loss. But fifteen years later, with no other escapes available, she now returns. Brimming with desperation and dread, Elizabeth finds herself in the unlikeliest of places, by her sister’s side in Seattle as Jane undergoes chemotherapy.
As her new life takes the form of care, cookery, and classic literature, Elizabeth is forced to re-imagine her future and reevaluate her past. But can a New York City chef with a painful history settle down with the family she once abandoned . . . and make peace with the sister who once abandoned her?
“Deeply moving and intensely meaningful, Reay’s latest gives readers an intimate look into the lives of sisters. Delicious descriptions of food and the closeness that it provides to others gives the novel even more depth.” —RT Book Reviews, 4-1/2 Stars TOP PICK!
I don’t think I have ever put a book down with the thought I need to cook, maybe it has something to do with all the delicious meals written about page after page. I’m not a big kitchen person, but I enjoy trying a new recipe every now and then. By the end of the book, I was thinking about cooking school! What a testament to Katherine Reay’s writing abilities. My husband might thank her one day. 😉
Yet, this book is about so much more than a good meal. It’s about two sisters and their differences. They were once close, but life circumstances have pushed them apart and now they find it’s just easier to leave things alone. Even though each of them longs for the other and craves that relationship, they allow pride to interfere. Speaking of pride…. I loved the parallels between this book and Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. I could see the similarities and they drew me in even deeper into the character’s lives and story world. If you are an Austen fan. then this book will feed your hungry Austen soul.
I found Lizzy to be a hard character, but then isn’t that exactly how you would expect a NYC chef to be? Hard and direct? I grew to love her and sympathize with her. Like any heroine we read about we want to see her happy. But… certain things had to play out first. I’ll be honest and say I shook the book once or twice wanting Lizzy open her eyes, but that part of the fun. Because every part of this book was FUN! I loved reading it from page one to the last word. I was a bit sad to see the end, but then I felt the same way when I finished Dear. Mr. Knightley.
Mrs. Reay is an author to experience over a cup of hot tea. She will take you on a journey that is memorable and fulling. Settle in and enjoy the ride.
“Reay’s second Jane Austen-inspired tale (after Dear Mr. Knightley) is a layered and nuanced story of faith and hope, enriched by complex but relatable characters. Recommended for lovers of character-driven women’s fiction.” —Library Journal
Leave a comment and I will enter your name in a drawing for my copy of Lizzy & Jane. If you aren’t already following my blog, then I invite you to do so. A winner will be announced on Saturday, November 22nd! You might have this delightful book in time for Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by!
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a lifelong affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked in not-for-profit development before returning to school to pursue her MTS. Katherine lives with her husband and three children in Seattle, WA. Dear Mr. Knightley was her first novel.