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Book of the Week #50 "Lizzy and Jane"



by Katherine Reay

At eighteen, Lizzy (or Elizabeth, as she prefers to be called) lost her mother to cancer. Now, at thirty-three, she's a chef at her own restaurant, Feast, in New York. She rarely visits her home state of Washington and doesn't keep in touch with her sister, Jane. Yet now her sister has cancer. Her father, who has always felt responsible for the differences between Lizzy and Jane, begs Lizzy to come back and spend time with Jane. Things haven't been going well at Feast, and Lizzy accepts the offer, hoping that time away from the restaurant will help her career. Yet when she arrives in Washington, things are up and down between Lizzy and Jane. At first, Jane doesn't seem very sick, but her illness soon rears its ugly head. Lizzy is offended when Jane can't keep the food she prepares down and still harbors a grudge left from Jane's absence during their mother's illness and passing. She talks to Jane and finds out what flavors taste good to her now that the chemo has altered her taste. Lizzy finally figures out how to prepare foods that Jane will be able to keep down without getting sick, yet things are still rocky with the anger they both hold against each other. Amidst the turmoil, Lizzy becomes close with her sister's friend Nick. Over the course of the month, she finds herself torn between Washington and New York. One of which she wants to

I have mixed feelings about this book. I like it, but it just feels like there's something missing for me. I don't know exactly what, but it lacks something that could give it a good boost. I think part of the problem is I'm not terribly fond of Lizzy, or Elizabeth as she's sometimes called. She just doesn't stand out to me. She doesn't seem like a person that is happy, and I know she's supposed to be struggling, but even in the scenes where she is supposed to be happy and the writing says that she is happy, I don't feel like she really is. And she really was not nice to her sister. I get that Lizzy was mad that Jane didn't spend time with their mother while she was sick, but I don't know that Lizzy should have said some of the things she did while Jane was sick. I mean, they had fights while Jane was at the hospital having chemotherapy. That just doesn't seem right to me. Another small issue I have with the book is that the title led me to believe Pride and Prejudice would play a big role in it, but it didn't. That is one of the least mentioned Austen books in Lizzy and Jane. But that's not really a huge issue, though.

What I did like about the book was Cecilia. It was so nice to see such a caring nurse that really wanted what was best for her patients. She was also a good friend for Lizzy; someone totally opposite from her that brought out the best in her. And even though Lizzy kind of got on my nerves through a lot of the book, it was nice to see her take the time to understand why Jane and Tyler weren't eating and find a way to make food that tasted good to them. It's a neat concept. As someone who has been surrounded by cancer patients my entire life, I don't know how realistic it is, but if it is, I think it's amazing.

All in all, Lizzy and Jane may not have been one of my favorite books, but there are certain elements of the book that I liked. If you're a big fan of contemporary women's fiction, then you will probably enjoy this book.

I give this book a 3 out of 5. 

2 comments

  1. I really liked this book. I gave it a 4 star. How funny, it never even occurred to me that there weren't any references to Pride and Prejudice as the title would imply. ha! I think everything rang true with me because I have a friend going through breast cancer and so many things rang a bell with me in the story. I love how books speak to people differently :)

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    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed this one, Julie. :) Sorry to hear about your friend.

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