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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.
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
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 sisters 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!
"Reays 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 womens fiction." Library Journal
Stacey ZinkAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Loved it!November 18, 2014Stacey ZinkAge: 35-44Gender: femaleI 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!
STuttleAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Another Great book from Katherine ReayNovember 7, 2014STuttleAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5First 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:)
IolaNew ZealandAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Even Better than Dear Mr KnightleyNovember 5, 2014IolaNew ZealandAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Elizabeth is the head chef at Feast, a chic New York restaurant. But shes losing her touch, and when her boss brings in a celebrity chef/marketing expert to restore Feasts reputation, Elizabeth decides its time for a break. She heads to Seattle, Washington, to a home and a father shes barely seen since she left sixteen years ago. And she heads to an older sister whos undergoing treatment for breast cancer, the same cancer that killed their mother during Lizzies senior year in high school.
Katherine Reays debut novel, Dear Mr Knightley, was nominated for a Christy Award, nominated for two Carol Awards, and won the 2014 INSPY Award for a Debut novel. I read it, and while I thought the writing and characterisation was excellent, I did wish Reay had written an original story (Dear Mr Knightley is a contemporary retelling of the Jean Webster classic, Daddy Long Legs).
Like Dear Mr Knightley, Lizzy and Jane has links to Austen, in that sisters Jane and Elizabeth are named for the heroines of their mothers favourite novel. Unlike Dear Mr Knightley, Lizzy and Jane is a fresh story, not a retelling of a classic (or if it is, the retelling is unobtrusive enough that I couldnt see what was coming in the way I did with Dear Mr Knightley. As a result, I enjoyed it a lot more. It wasnt that I didnt enjoy Dear Mr Knightley, more that I always found the ending of Daddy Long Legs a little contrived, and the ending of Dear Mr Knightley was even more so.
Lizzy and Jane was different, in a good way. It had all the strong writing and characterisation of Dear Mr Knightley, with the added bonus of an original and compelling plot. Elizabeth has some deep-seated resentment towards Jane, who was never around while their mother was dying. While Elizabeth is in Seattle helping Jane face her health crisis, Elizabeth is also facing her own personal crisis, a crisis of identity and self-belief around her cooking. Its the one thing shes always excelled at, yet even that talent seems to be failing her.
There are touches of romance and an underlying Christian theme, but Lizzy and Jane is very much womens fiction, Lizzys story of personal, professional (and spiritual) rediscovery. Recommended.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
tmurrellTNAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Another one out of the ballparkOctober 27, 2014tmurrellTNAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Elizabeth is a chef with her own restaurant in New York. But customers are dwindling and her cooking has lost its edge. So her boss brings in a celebrity to boost sales and hopefully get Elizabeth to snap out of whatever is bothering her. But when her dad calls and begs her to visit she decides to take a break and go with him to take care of her sister Jane, who has cancer. That decision will change the entire course of not only her life, but the lives of several other people as well.
I absolutely loved this book. The plot is very deep and thought provoking, but never once felt heavy. The author wove in thoughts and quotes from a quite a few books. A lot of them are obviously Jane Austen, but most have a food theme that the main character pulls from. The food references were great and added authenticity to the story. The story and characters were deep and moving. I was entertained, but also finished the book with quite a bit to think about. I love how the author is able to write a story that stays with the reader long after the book is put down. What showcases a truly talented author, was the fact that I had nothing in common with either sister or the situations they were going through, and yet I was immersed in the story and fell in love with both of them. They were relatable and likeable, despite their flaws. All of the characters, even the secondary ones, had such depth. Reay is a talented author and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
I received this book free of charge from Kelley and Hall Publicity in exchange for my honest review.
Karen CollierKarenCollier.comAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Another lovely literary novel from Katherine ReayOctober 15, 2014Karen CollierKarenCollier.comAge: 25-34Gender: femaleIm happy to report that Lizzy & Jane lives up to the exceedingly high bar set by Katherine Reays fantastic debut novel, Dear Mr. Knightley. I must say, I wondered where this author could go after such a unique and wonderfully touching first novel. After reading her second gem, Id say shes solidified her spot among my favorite authors. More lovely books please?
I really enjoyed the beautiful quotable prose, complete with literary qualities including clever use of metaphors and symbolism. These elements dont feel forced or clichd, but rather fresh and entirely appropriate to the characters and context of the story. Heres an example I highlighted while reading:
"I paused in the living room. The suns rays shot over Lake Washington and ignited the rooms beige walls, warming them from ginger to gold. New York had been cloudy this spring and Id been cloudy with it, but in this moment all my cloudy spaces felt ablaze with light." (from Chapter 10) Beautiful!
Then theres the heroines use of spice combinations to represent people and their characteristics. I loved the cooking theme throughout, and the way even descriptions of colors and settings came through the lenses of the characters. For example:
"The Infusion Center was painted a deeper shade of cream vanilla extract added to milk, with huge plate-glass windows looking out onto the city." (from Chapter 8)
Just as with Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane incorporates literary references to the novels of Jane Austen and other works of classic literature that carry emotional significance for the main characters. I must admit Id never really paid attention to the food references in Jane Austens books before, but after reading Lizzy and Jane, Im sure theyll be jumping out at me next time I read something of Austens and Ill be reminded of Reays Lizzy.
What I loved most about the book was how the characters and their emotions rang so true to real life. In opening themselves up to others they made themselves vulnerable to greater pain, but finally reaped the benefits of true emotional intimacy. The gradual changes in the individuals behaviors and their relationships also felt more realistic and believable than a single moment of epiphany might have felt.
This book prompted laughter, tears, and yes, I found myself shuddering at the description of a particular injury sustained by one of the characters. Cancer is a difficult subject, but this authors treatment of the subject shows a real empathy for what the people going through it as patients and caregivers must face.
As an author, this is a book I want to re-read and learn from. As a reader, I found this an enjoyable and thought provoking read that I would highly recommend.
Thank you to the publisher Thomas Nelson for providing an advance readers copy through Netgalley for review purposes.