Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lizzie & Jane - Katherine Reay

I just finished reading Lizzy & Jane, by Katherine Reay.  I can honestly say this is one of the first books in a long time that I've had to force myself to finish. 

The story is about two sisters and their... stilted relationship with each other.  Jane, older than Lizzie by eight years, left town as soon as she could and stayed away even when their mother was sick with and died from cancer.  Lizzy, one the other hand, was home because she was 17 and still in high school.  She was there through the whole time her mom was sick, and was the only sister/daughter at the funeral.  However, as soon as she graduated, Lizzy, who now goes by Elizabeth, moved to New York.  She went to a culinary institute and now works at a restaurant named Feast.  Jane, on the other hand, has moved back to Seattle with her husband and two kids.  They see Jane's dad on a regular basis, and have grown to love the area. 

Around the time that Jane is diagnosed with cancer, Elizabeth starts having troubles with her restaurant.  Elizabeth finally resigns herself to the fact that she may, in fact, need a vacation.  Her investor and boss, Paul, brings in a guest chef named Trent.  They work together for a few days before Elizabeth makes the decision to go to Seattle for a few weeks.  While in Seattle, Elizabeth learns many things, not only about herself, but about her family.

This had the potential to be a great story, potential being the keyword.  There was minimal plot or character development and the storyline was weak.  Both Jane and Elizabeth are selfish, shallow women who don't care about anyone other than themselves.  That doesn't change by the end of the novel.  The only difference is that now they get to be shallow and selfish in the same city. 

Jane's husband, Peter, isn't much better.  He only thinks about himself and doesn't really seem to care that his wife may die.  Nick, Elizabeths love interest, may just be the only saving grace in the entire book.  He is charming and genuinely seems to care about other people.  If only we could have had more of him, then maybe the book would have been better. 

The thing that irritated me most of all was that when Elizabeth decided to start cooking food for cancer patients, it took her too long to think about them, because all she thought about was what she might want.  She never thought that some foods might not taste good to them, or that each person might have different foods they like. 

I would give this book a solid D-.  Save your time and read something else.

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