If you’re a foodie and/or enjoy dining out, a mom who enjoys reading about relationships, friendships and life, you will eat up The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan.
People magazine included The Restaurant Critic’s Wife on their Great New Fiction list and hailed it as “thoroughly entertaining.” It’s also been an InStyle Book Club Pick
I devoured it while we were snowed in during the Jonas blizzard. In fact, I turned off Burnt starring Bradley Cooper because I preferred to finish reading the book than watch the movie.
Lila Soto has a master’s degree that’s gathering dust, a work-obsessed husband, two kids, and lots of questions about how exactly she ended up here.
In their new city of Philadelphia, Lila’s husband, Sam, takes his job as a restaurant critic a little too seriously. To protect his professional credibility, he’s determined to remain anonymous. Soon his preoccupation with anonymity takes over their lives as he tries to limit the family’s contact with anyone who might have ties to the foodie world. Meanwhile, Lila craves adult conversation and some relief from the constraints of her homemaker role. With her patience wearing thin, she begins to question everything: her decision to get pregnant again, her break from her career, her marriage—even if leaving her ex-boyfriend was the right thing to do. As Sam becomes more and more fixated on keeping his identity secret, Lila begins to wonder if her own identity has completely disappeared—and what it will take to get it back.
Lila and her family are very likeable characters and extremely easy to relate to. It feels so real because the author is actually married to a restaurant-critic and lives in the City of Brotherly Love just like the Soto family does in the book.
Each chapter begins with a short blurb from one of Lila’s husband, Sam Soto’s restaurant reviews. He awards the restaurants between one to five elegant swans.
But don’t take my word on it. Here’s what other top Author’s have said about it:
“A tender, charming, and deliciously diverting story about love, marriage, and how your restaurant-review sausage gets made. The Restaurant Critic’s Wife is compulsively readable and richly detailed, a guilt-free treat that will have you devouring every word.” —Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Good In Bed, Best Friends Forever, and Who Do You Love
“Elizabeth LaBan’s novel The Restaurant Critic’s Wife stirs in love and intrigue making for a savory delight that pairs perfectly with your armchair. Prepare to be charmed!” —Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Rumor
“A heartfelt and relatable look at a woman navigating the difficulties of marriage and motherhood—while struggling to maintain a sense of self. Written with charm, honesty, and an insider’s eye into a usually hidden slice of the restaurant world, it’s a winning recipe.” —Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of Things You Won’t Say
“In her debut novel for adults, Elizabeth LaBan cooks up a delectable buffet about motherhood, friendship, ambition, and romance (albeit one in need of a little more spice). She captures the essence of life with small children (smitten with a side of hysteria) and weaves a relatable, charming love story with the flair of an expert baker turning out a flawless lattice crust. LaBan’s four-star story has the satisfying effect of a delicious meal shared with friends you can’t wait to see again.” —Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens
Keeping up with my food theme, I’m about to start reading Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit the debut novel by Jessica Tom of Brooklyn.
What are you currently reading and eating?