finished reading

I wasn't sure what to expect.  It's certainly a buzzed-about book. Set in the late 50s and early 60s it provides a glimpse of Americana--certainly the cult of domesticity as it resonates into the 20th Century.  It's something I teach my students as we explore the role of women in American history.  Ok, back to the book...

Elizabeth Zott is a rational, no-nonsense character.  I would be intimidated by her and admire her.  I especially like the way she holds on to her ideals, even when society doesn't respect those ideals.  She questions the status quo and pushes the boundaries of societal norms.  Elizabeth would be seen as a trailblazer if the story was contemporary.  And I would still be intimidated by her and admire her.  At times I was frustrated with her--as she crashed into the glass ceiling again and again until it shattered.  And at times my heart broke for her.

The secondary characters are vivid.  I like all the relationships, they are intertwined and connected in fun ways.

I love the role that science plays in this book, too, in the everyday ways we use it.

I really liked this book and think it would make a great book group selection.

From the publisher:
Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with--of all things--her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth's unusual approach to cooking ("combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride") proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to change the status quo.

No comments: