Lizzy & Jane  -     By: Katherine Reay
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Lizzy & Jane

Thomas Nelson / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1401689736
ISBN-13: 9781401689735
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Sometimes the courage to face your greatest fears comes only when you've run out of ways to escape.

At the end of a long night, Elizabeth leans against the industrial oven and takes in her kingdom. Once vibrant and flawless, evenings in the kitchen now feel chaotic and exhausting. She's lost her culinary magic, and business is slowing down.

When worried investors enlist the talents of a tech-savvy celebrity chef to salvage the restaurant, Elizabeth feels the ground shift beneath her feet. Not only has she lost her touch; she's losing her dream.

And her means of escape.

When her mother died, Elizabeth fled home and the overwhelming sense of pain and loss. But fifteen years later, with no other escapes available, she now returns. Brimming with desperation and dread, Elizabeth finds herself in the unlikeliest of places, by her sister’s side in Seattle as Jane undergoes chemotherapy.

As her new life takes the form of care, cookery, and classic literature, Elizabeth is forced to reimagine her future and reevaluate her past. But can a New York City chef with a painful history settle down with the family she once abandoned . . . and make peace with the sister who once abandoned her?

"Deeply moving and intensely meaningful, Reay's latest gives readers an intimate look into the lives of sisters. Delicious descriptions of food and the closeness that it provides to others gives the novel even more depth." —RT Book Reviews, 4-1/2 Stars TOP PICK!

"Reay’s second Jane Austen-inspired tale (after Dear Mr. Knightley) is a layered and nuanced story of faith and hope, enriched by complex but relatable characters. Recommended for lovers of character-driven women’s fiction." —Library Journal

Author Bio

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked in not-for-profit development before returning to school to pursue  her MTS. Katherine lives with her husband and three children in Seattle, WA. Dear Mr. Knightley was her first novel. Twitter: @Katherine_Reay Facebook: katherinereaybooks

Product Reviews

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  1. Grand Prairie, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Beautiful Story
    January 20, 2015
    Britt98
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Lizzy & Jane is the first book that I have read by author Katherine Reay. I was pleased to discover how much I love her writing style. She has a wonderful ability to make the characters really come alive in the story. The sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, have built up a lot of resentment between each other over the years. The story of how they come together and learn how to let go of past hurts is at the center of what this book is about.

    I really liked Elizabeths (Lizzys) character. She is a chef and the author did such a beautiful job of convincing me that food preparation truly meant everything to Lizzy. The thought process that Lizzy uses to put together the dishes that she creates is central in this story and so interesting to read about. When she ends up traveling across the country to spend time with her ailing sister, it is not an easy decision. These two always end up at odds with each other. Their interaction throughout the book, and the way that sometimes one or the other would just lose it and say something incredibly insensitive, seemed very realistic.

    I liked Jane, too, even though she had some control issues in life. I felt sorry for all she was going through and felt that both she and Lizzy grew so much in this book. I simply loved the progression of this story. Every bit was worthwhile and added to the overall enjoyment for me.

    Nick was fabulous. He certainly handled many things with grace and frequently ended up being the support that Lizzy needed. He was kind and caring, and not pushy. But even he had some issues to work on in his personal life. There were things he hadnt allowed himself to really hand over to God. All of the main characters grew so much by the end of the book. This story is also packed with wonderful side characters that will pull at your heart. These characters, such as Cecilia, added so much to the book. I enjoyed this story from the beginning to the end. Plus, it has such a cute cover!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review.
  2. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Flawed characters in need of healing
    January 18, 2015
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I really liked this novel. I really liked that Lizzy and Jane are flawed characters. They are real. I liked that Lizzy has to come to understand what her food preparation means to her and to others. I liked the aspect of the novel dealing with the conditions of chemotherapy, not only for the person receiving it, but those acting in support as well. I liked the references to novels, not only those of Austen, but also Hemingway. I liked all the descriptions of food made me hungry.

    This is a good novel all around. The characters are real and act like real people with issues. There are many themes dealt with in the novel. There is the family issue, Lizzy and Jane losing their mother when still young. There is the idea of supporting those going through chemotherapy and how one can be a help in the right way. The idea of food and tastes and creating food that would taste good to someone experiencing chemotherapy was very enlightening. There is a great deal of love, forgiveness and facing fears in the novel too.

    There would be much to discuss after reading this novel and a discussion guide has been included for reading groups. The only thing missing in this novel is the recipe for Nick's chicken rub. I mean, how can you have a book with food such an important part and not include even one recipe?

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    One of the Most Amazing Books I'll Read This Year
    January 7, 2015
    i blog 4 books
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Oh my! I'm not sure that I have adequate words to express how much I absolutely loved this book, but I'll give it a shot.

    At first glance, this is a simple romance novel featuring a chef who is struggling to rediscover her creativity in the kitchen and leaves town to help her sister as she battles cancer. Of course, she meets a cute guy, flirts a little, and starts to have more than friendship feelings.

    But Lizzy & Jane is about so much more than just romance or even self-discovery. It's about love and family and cancer and grief and loss and survival. It's about the intimate relationships between family members and how much it hurts to lose your mother and how even adults still need their moms and how important it is to stay close even when life pulls you apart. It's about sisters and caring for each other and sacrificing your dreams, wants, desires for another. It's about creativity and scenery and the mundane and the romantic moments in the midst of it all. It's about finding God in the middle of pain and tragedy and discovering hard truths about yourself along the way. It's about food and books. It's about more than just food and books though. It's about how those things tell others a lot about who we are and how they bring us together and help us build community with others. It's about serving and loving and giving. It's about the feast and how it can literally change our lives.

    The book was absolutely beautiful. The story itself was moving, and the writing was magnificent. I found myself staying up way too late to keep reading "just one more page." But getting only 5 hours of sleep was totally worth it. Totally.

    The relationships between every person in the book were just stunning. Jane and Peter. Jane and Lizzy. Lizzy and Nick. Lizzy and the kids. Lizzy and her father. Lizzy and Jane and their mother. All the patients in the cancer center. And Cecelia. Just dynamite! And the result of all of these relationships is a rich, deep, story that felt complete.

    I loved the talk between Lizzy and just about everyone about what books they liked, what foods they enjoyed, what smells, sights, and touches they loved most. It made me think about my own favorites and how all of those things work together to paint a picture of me.

    Some might think that there isn't a very strong faith message. And while it's true that there aren't a lot of direct conversations about the gospel, it's written all throughout the bookalmost allegorical.

    There are tons of references to Jane Austen, Hemingway, and other amazing works of literature. Sadly, I've read almost none of them (and have never really cared to), but reading Lizzy & Jane made me want to! (My TBR list has grown by leaps and bounds over the 355 pages of this book!)

    It's only day 6 of 2015, and I can already tell you with certainty that Lizzy and Jane will be on my "favorites" list this year. Seriously. Go find a copy of this book and read it! [5 stars]

    [One side note for the squeamish ... around page 175 there is a terrible accident involving a very sharp knife and Lizzy's fingers. The description is a little graphic, and I nearly got ill. But I'll just chalk it up to great writing (and a weak stomach!). If you ARE squeamish, just skip ahead a couple of pages, and you'll be fine. :)]

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.
  4. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Loved it!
    November 18, 2014
    Stacey Zink
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    This review was written for Lizzy & Jane - eBook.
    I found Lizzy to be a hard character, but then isnt that exactly how you would expect a NYC chef to be? Hard and direct? I grew to love her and sympathize with her. Like any heroine we read about we want to see her happy. But certain things had to play out first. Ill be honest and say I shook the book once or twice wanting Lizzy open her eyes, but that part of the fun. Because every part of this book was FUN! I loved reading it from page one to the last word. I was a bit sad to see the end, but then I felt the same way when I finished Dear. Mr. Knightley. I can't wait for the next book by this author!
  5. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Another Great book from Katherine Reay
    November 7, 2014
    STuttle
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    First off, this book made me hungry--and in a good way! I'd love to actually meet Lizzy and let her cook for me, because the woman has skills. Setting all that aside though, let's talk about the rest of this book; Lizzy's slow evolution in releasing her past, reestablishing her future, and reclaiming a relationship with her sister...along with finding a handsome man along the way.

    One of the things I really enjoy about Katherine's books is how the romance she adds to her stories is always at a slow burn. It's not the central theme, yet it is still 100% there. I so enjoy watching her characters' lives progress as they work through change and sometimes pain, yet still find happiness--and not simply by falling in love. Lizzy & Jane was no different. Of course with Jane having cancer, this was a hard read, but Katherine handled the situation beautifully. I loved how these two sisters find healing in their relationship after years. I also really, really loved how caring for Jane helped Lizzy rediscover why she's a chef and how she can use that talent.

    All together I loved this book. The characters were all rich and so well written. The romance well placed and incredibly sweet. The plot full of healing and restoration. And the ending brought them all full circle and into a new place that left me with hope and joy for their futures. Always a great way to read The End:)
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