NetGalley Review: The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan

Lake Union Publishing To Be Published Jan. 5, 2016

Lake Union Publishing
To Be Published Jan. 5, 2016

Lisa Soto has a master’s degree that she no longer uses. Married with a work obsessed husband, a little girl running around and a baby on the way, Lisa is contemplating how and why did her life end up this way.

Lisa’s husband Sam decides to move his family to Philadelphia, where he takes his job as a restaurant critic seriously. So seriously, he wants Lisa and their family to remain anonymous and have little or no interaction with their neighbors; leaving Lisa jumpy and alone. 

Needing some kind of adult interaction, Lisa wonders if she is losing her identity and begins questioning every decision she made including leaving her ex for Sam. 

I picked this book because I read LaBan’s YA book The Tragedy Paper (Click here for the review).  I enjoyed that book, so I decided I would give this a try.

This was a struggle read for me because Lisa is miserable for most of the book. I am aware that is the premise but it is really hard to read someone who is just plain unhappy all the time. Sam is inconsiderate and Lisa just allows him to be him. At one point you just wonder, when did she decide to just give up everything she even remotely wanted. She doesn’t even care about appearances. When Sam begins acting irrational in public she just sits there.

My issue with Lisa is she gives the impression that she just gave up on herself. I am sure plenty of women go through this but Lisa bugged me. Sam bugged.

In regards to writing style, I didn’t love the flashbacks. It was fitting for the novel, yes but I felt that it could have been cleaner and sharper. The transitions weren’t that great *shrugs*

I liked the book and I understand the lack of emotion within the characters but I cannot tell you how bad I wanted some kind of passion. Even when the flashbacks happen, there was no real emotion other than impulsiveness.

This book offered insight and it is extremely relate-able even if you aren’t married. But this was a hard read and I strongly believe more could have been done to this book.

 

2.8 Pickles

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