Lizzy and Jane was another excellent book by Katherine Reay! She has the uncanny ability to write deep characters in unique situations, delving into uncommon issues and insightful experiences. I’m sharing this review way later than I had intended. Like, 6 months late. Just because I waited forever to share it doesn’t mean I loved the book any less! It DID make my favorites list for 2014!
Lizzy’s character at first seems closed off and unfeeling, but as you get to know her, she makes her way into your emotions. You begin to identify with her struggles, her pain over the loss of her mother, her prejudices against her sister Jane for her unconcern when their mother died. You understand, though, Jane’s perspective, too.That their personalities are just opposite – but they have more in common than they realize.
Truly, Lizzy experiences many emotions and carries baggage and pain from the time her mother died. She holds it as a grudge against her sister, that she left Lizzy, even as Jane now goes through a horrible battle with cancer.
The literary references included in this book – especially to Austen and “food in classic literature” – are again fabulous and fun, like in her debut, Dear Mr. Knightley.
I liked witnessing Lizzy’s journey and her reaction to her sister’s situation. Lizzy finds purpose in serving others, helping them in some small way through their pain, because she can identify with some of their feelings.
A romance with Nick, a friend of Jane’s, is not exactly central to the story, but happens as Lizzy’s story with Jane unfolds – in the middle of pain, family, and everyday life. That’s why I loved it, and was drawn to how their relationship would conclude in the story. It realistically showed that life is not a fairy tale, but happiness can be found even in the struggles.
Overall, this was an engaging, thought-provoking story. It begs this question of the reader: Are you doing something to make a difference in people’s lives?
Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Book Summary: Lizzy and Jane never saw eye to eye. But when illness brings them together, they discover they may be more like Austen’s famous sisters after all.
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.
As she tends to Jane’s needs, Elizabeth’s powers begin to return to her, along with the family she left behind so long ago. Then Paul tries to entice her back to New York, and she is faced with a hard decision: stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane, or return to New York and the life she worked so hard to create?
How did I miss this!? Great review, Courtney. Late or not, glad you shared. I’ve a feeling, Katherine’s books are going to continue making my yearly favorites lists for a long time to come. 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed this review! Yes, here’s hoping Katherine has a long career ahead of her! I will eagerly await each release 🙂 It’s always so fun to have you drop by, Rissi!
Lovely review, Courtney! Even six months late. 🙂
I loved what you said about Lizzy, how she “she makes her way into your emotions”. So completely true! That’s precisely how I felt about her. It’s like she snuck into my affections when I wasn’t paying attention and then my emotions just kept growing from there. And her relationship with Jane was so….I don’t even have the words for all the FEELINGS the two sisters inspired in me!
Also, do you appreciate that final letter a bit more now? That was one bit that I especially loved, I admit! 😀
Thank you, Kara!!! So many feelings, even now.
And thank you for reminding me about that letter! I had to reread that last chapter just now. Yes, I definitely appreciate it more! So sweet. Katherine Reay is just brilliant 🙂
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