Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Review: Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

Lizzy and Jane
By Katherine Reay
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: Lizzy and Jane never saw eye to eye. But when illness brings them together, they discover they may be more like Austen’s famous sisters after all.

Lizzy was only a teenager when her mother died of cancer. Shortly after, Lizzy fled from her home, her family, and her cherished nickname. After working tirelessly to hone her gift of creating magic in the kitchen, Elizabeth has climbed the culinary ladder to become the head chef of her own New York restaurant, Feast. But as her magic begins to elude her, Paul, Feast’s financial backer, brings in someone to share her responsibilities and her kitchen. So Elizabeth flees again.

In a desperate attempt to reconnect with her gift, Elizabeth returns home. But her plans are derailed when she learns that her estranged sister, Jane, is battling cancer. Elizabeth surprises everyone—including herself—when she decides to stay in Seattle and work to prepare healthy, sustaining meals for Jane as she undergoes chemotherapy. She also meets Nick and his winsome son, Matt, who, like Elizabeth, are trying to heal from the wounds of the past.

As she tends to Jane's needs, Elizabeth's powers begin to return to her, along with the family she left behind so long ago. Then Paul tries to entice her back to New York, and she is faced with a hard decision: stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane, or return to New York and the life she worked so hard to create?

Review: If it isn't obvious already, I am a HUGE Jane Austen fan. I have read all of her books and am in love with the movie adaptations. Katherine Reay has taken the two sisters from my absolute favorite Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice and put them in a story about food, sisterhood, and forgiving past mistakes. 

Jane and Elizabeth have never been that close. 8 years apart, Jane left home as soon as she turned 18 and never looked back, leaving her younger sister feeling alone and unwanted by her big sister, especially when their mom gets sick a couple of years later. Since then, Elizabeth has moved to New York and is the chef of up and coming restaurant Feast. But food isn't as easy as it used to be and Elizabeth doesn't know what she's missing. When an illness brings the sisters together again, Elizabeth finds herself flying across the country to be with Jane and her family, taking the time to go back to the roots of her cooking and why she loved it in the first place. The sisters try to reconcile their differences and realize they aren't so different from the famous literary sisters they were named after…

Since I have a twin sister who is my absolute best friend, I love finding a book that has a real, authentic sisterhood between the main characters. While Jane and Elizabeth definitely don't get along in the beginning, there's that bond that brings two sisters together when they need each other the most. Cancer has a big presence in the book, so family is definitely important to get through the hard times. I loved how dysfunctional their entire family was, but how much they grew to really know each other and care for each other as Elizabeth spent more time with Jane and her family. Elizabeth was a bit uptight and controlling with her life in New York, and it was great to see her relax and take in the good things life has to offer when she's with Jane. I also loved Elizabeth's relationship with Nick and how that slowly progressed. They were so cute being friends first, moving slowly before exploring what exactly they meant to each other. Not to mention Nick's son Matt is such a cutie. 

The relationships in this book were fantastic, but so was the food. I love books with food because, well, I love food, and it was so fun how Elizabeth talked about food in her life. The thing she remembered most in the novels she read was the food, and it was cool how she used people's favorite books to cook for them. She became so passionate when talking about food and I loved how she coped with the troubles life threw her way through her cooking. Not to mention the characters went out to these fantastic sounding restaurants all of the time and I just wanted to jump into the book, pull up a chair, and eat right beside them. Food is definitely a comfort in this novel, but it is also a way of healing from life's hardships, and that's just what Elizabeth needs. 

Any Jane Austen fan has to read Katherine Reay. She takes our beloved Austen heroines and puts a modern spin on them that is impossible not to love. Oh my gosh, and the final reference to Persuasion absolutely stole my heart. For a heartwarming, emotional book about family, sisterhood, and bonding together in hard times, I'd definitely recommend picking up Lizzy & Jane!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica, Thank you so much for such a lovely review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the sisters -- sisters are special folks! Before the book came out, I made sure my own sister read it so that she knew I was NOT writing about us. :)

    Have a wonderful week... and thank you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...