Book before binge: review of Lessons in Chemistry

I just wrapped up this book (admittedly, fashionably late to the party) because I had my eyes set on the miniseries. I firmly stand behind the idea of diving into the book before immersing myself in its screen adaptation. The read was swift, featuring a resilient feminist lead and a handful of unexpected plot turns.

Kicking off in 1961, we meet Elizabeth, a 30-year-old single mother reluctantly thrust into the spotlight as the seemingly disheartened star of a cooking show named Supper at Six, tailored for housewives. Despite her background in research chemistry, her academic dreams have dimmed due to a series of unyielding obstacles. Reflecting on her past from a decade earlier, the reasons become crystal clear.

As a female scientist, Elizabeth faced skepticism and hostility from her male counterparts. Her journey in academia was marked by assaults on her character and work, ranging from sexual misconduct and theft of her ideas to pervasive misogyny from both men and women threatened by her independence and determination. 

Even her bond with Calvin Evans, a Nobel-nominated chemist and her soulmate, becomes a target of envy for adversaries, leading to a relationship doomed to sadness and eventual demise.

With an impressive average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, Lessons in Chemistry deeply resonated with readers, if not always with critics. Its tenacious and brilliant protagonist, a canine with an extensive vocabulary, and a mysterious event at an orphanage that shapes a pivotal character’s trajectory, are among its captivating elements.

For more insights into the book, check out this review from The Guardian: Lessons in Chemistry Review.

If you’re intrigued, you can purchase the book here: Lessons in Chemistry on Amazon.

And don’t miss out on the miniseries available on Apple+!