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October 2023 Book of the Month

Category: Library, Monthly Book Reviews

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Did you know we now have an AGGS KS4 Book Award?  Look out for the longlist on Teams and do get involved by reading the books.  This month’s Book of the Month has made it to the longlist.  It’s an eccentric and funny novel with a main character who won’t be pigeonholed.

Elizabeth Zott is a talented scientist in 1950s America when female scientists were viewed with suspicion by their male counterparts.  She is forced to leave her job as a research scientist so starts work as a lab technician encountering misogyny on a daily basis.  After a tragic change of circumstances and a chance meeting with a TV executive, she then takes a job on a TV cookery show.

Elizabeth doesn’t fit into societal norms.  When the TV company want to present her as a wholesome, ultra-feminine home cook, she refuses to comply.  She sees the kitchen as a laboratory, a serious place of work.  By remaining true to herself, as a scientist and a rationalist she becomes a huge star of daytime TV, initiating a quiet revolution for her housewife audience.  “Chemistry is change”, she tells them and encourages them to make changes in their own lives.

This is a touching story with a hugely satisfying ending. 

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