the next good book

Lessons in Chemistry

By Bonnie Garmus


390 pages

What’s it about?

Elizabeth Zott is a chemist- but unfortunately in 1952 this is no easy role for a woman.  While we follow Elizabeth from graduate school, to work, to motherhood we begin to see what a hard road it was for women back in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

What did it make me think about?

I see why this seems to be the “IT” book of the summer.

Should I read it?

I love a novel with a sense of humor and this book never takes itself too seriously.  Even though it touches on very serious subject matter.  Elizabeth Zott is quite a literary character.  I so enjoyed seeing the world from her perspective.  What an easy way to introduce a whole new generation to women’s roles in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It is hard now to believe that women ever had to live and work in this environment.  I would guess this will be the book club pick for 2022-2023.  It is a fun, easy book, that allows for some good discussions.


“She’d recently read about some country where both parents worked and  took part in raising the children.  Where was that, again?  Sweden?  She couldn’t remember.  But the upshot was, it functioned very well.  Productivity was higher; families were stronger.  She saw herself living in such a society.  A place that didn’t always automatically mistake her for a secretary, a place where, when she presented her findings in a meeting, she didn’t have to brace herself for the men who would invariably talk over her, or worse, take credit for her work.  Elizabeth shook her head.  When came to equality, 1952 was a real disappointment.”

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