Lessons in Chemistry (Paperback)
  • Lessons in Chemistry (Paperback)
  • Lessons in Chemistry (Paperback)
  • Lessons in Chemistry (Paperback)
Lessons in Chemistry (Paperback) Lessons in Chemistry (Paperback)

Lessons in Chemistry (Paperback)

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Paperback 400 Pages
Published: 02/03/2023
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Waterstones Says

Smart, funny, joyous and powerful, Garmus' 60s set debut featuring an unconventional female scientist with a quiet game-plan to change the world has won the hearts and minds of our booksellers and is undoubtedly one of 2022's most gloriously enjoyable debuts.

Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for March 2023

Winner of Waterstones Author of the Year 2022

Shortlisted for The British Book Awards 2023 Debut Book of the Year

Shortlisted for The Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize 2022

The Books Are My Bag Readers' Awards Breakthrough Author & Reader's Choice 2023

'Your ability to change everything - including yourself - starts here' - Elizabeth Zott

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with - of all things - her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth's unusual approach to cooking ('combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride') proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to change the status quo.

Meet the unconventional, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott.

Read an extract from Lessons in Chemistry on the Waterstones Blog

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781804990926
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 273 g
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 24 mm


The most charming, life-enhancing novel I've read in ages. A perfect delight. It's about Elizabeth Zott, a scientist who accidentally becomes a TV cook in the early 1960s. Very strongly recommend - INDIA KNIGHT, SUNDAY TIMES

This triumphant feminist fable, wittily observed, is teeming with vivid comic set-pieces - TELEGRAPH, Fiction of the Week

Polished, funny, thought-provoking. Wearing its research lightly but confidently with sentences so stylishly turned it's hard to believe it's a debut ... The real pleasure is in the dry wit of Garmus's writing - GUARDIAN, Book of the day

Not only is Elizabeth an unforgettable character, so too are her adorable dog Six Thirty and daughter, Mad. This is a truly unique book with some great life lessons - WOMAN AND HOME, Best Books of 2022

A book that sparks joy with every page. LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY is both funny and rousing: it had me laughing one minute and air-punching the next. Bonnie Garmus has created an unforgettable heroine - ELIZABETH DAY

It's the world versus Elizabeth Zott, an extraordinary woman determined to live on her own terms, and I had no trouble choosing a side. Lessons in Chemistry is a page-turning and highly satisfying tale: zippy, zesty, and Zotty - MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD, author of GREAT CIRCLE

Full of humour, heartbreak and characters who feel like real people. This is a book that everyone will be talking about - RED MAGAZINE

I haven't loved a character as much as the hero of this joyful, warm debut in a very long time - GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, Book of the Month

Absolutely unputdownable. I completely loved it - RICHARD E GRANT

A transporting read, recommended for fans of Where'd You Go, Bernadette and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel - STYLIST MAGAZINE, BOOKS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2022

In Garmus' debut novel, a frustrated chemist finds herself at the helm of a cooking show that sparks a revolution. Welcome to the 1960s, where a woman's arsenal of tools was often limited to the kitchen - and where Elizabeth Zott is hellbent on overturning the status quo one meal at a time - NEW YORK TIMES

A truly unique book with some great life lessons - WOMAN AND HOME, BEST BOOKS OF 2022

A fast-moving plot, zippy dialogue and wry sense of humour. A satisfying story with hateable villains and loveable good guys. Garmus's sparkling writing is a breath of fresh air - SUNDAY EXPRESS

Elizabeth Zott is the smart, fierce star of Garmus' witty debut. Brilliant - MAIL ON SUNDAY

Lessons in Chemistry is a vibrant and original story of hope and staying true to yourself. Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and brimming with life and generosity and courage - RACHEL JOYCE

A timeless book. Elizabeth Zott is an iconic heroine - a feminist who refuses to be quashed, a mother who believes that her child is a person to behold, rather than to mould, and who will leave you, and the lens through which you see the world, quite changed - PANDORA SYKES

THE antidote to life's current grimness: a shrewd, witty, inventive, feminist comedy you should all race to read - PATRICK GALE

Entirely enjoyable, totally engrossing novel, Garmus' beautifully drawn characters, her polished, engaging prose and a hugely satisfying plot make for a glorious read.Lessons In Chemistry is alight with warmth, wit and hard-won wisdom. Absolutely wonderful - DAILY EXPRESS

Fast, funny and furious - DAILY EXPRESS

Original and refreshing. Elizabeth Zott is one of those singular, unforgettable characters you don't come across enough in fiction. Witty and dark, it is both a breath of fresh air and a reminder of how much still has to change for true equality - PRESS ASSOCIATION

Zott is a brilliantly realised character whom it's impossible not to love...[a] warm and addictive novel which cleverly and entertainingly unpacks the thorny questions around women's empowerment, the need to be true to oneself and why we should refuse to accept the limitations others try to impose on us. A triumph - DAILY MAIL

Smart, funny, big-hearted - SUNDAY TIMES

A fabulous novel. Compelling, satisfying, a real page-turner - NINA STIBBE

Witty, inspiring and a joy - I-NEWSPAPER

Feminism is the catalyst that makes [Lessons in Chemistry] fizz like hydrochloric acid on limestone. Elizabeth Zott does not have 'moxie'; she has courage. She is not a 'girl boss' or a 'lady chemist'; she's a groundbreaker and an expert in abiogenesis. . . To file Elizabeth Zott among the pink razors of the book world is to miss the sharpness of Garmus's message. Lessons in Chemistry will make you wonder about all the real-life women born ahead of their time - women who were sidelined, ignored and worse because they weren't as resourceful, determined and lucky as Elizabeth Zott. She's a reminder of how far we've come, but also how far we still have to go - NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Lessons in Chemistry is a breath of fresh air - a witty, propulsive, and refreshingly hopeful novel populated with singular characters. This book is an utter delight - wry, warm and compulsively readable - CLAIRE LOMBARDO, author of THE MOST FUN WE EVER HAD

A proper page turner which really made me giggle. It's so dry. The humour has a gorgeous lightness of touch. I really enjoyed it - STEVE WRIGHT, BBC RADIO TWO BOOK CLUB

Original, fresh, tender, funny and warm. The story dances and swirls, captivating the reader from the first page. Elizabeth Zott is the most wonderful character. Just fantastic - SINEAD MORIARTY

Strikingly relevant. . . Darkly funny and poignant. . . Lessons in Chemistry's excellent experiment is quirky and heartwarming - THE ATLANTIC

A funny, thought-provoking revenge story. Elizabeth Zott is ahead of her time. This is such a great book, everyone should read it! - SHAPARAK KHORSANDI

Garmus has made feminism not just palpable, but delicious - I-NEWS

A truly involving and uplifting book! Bonnie Garmus addresses serious topics with humour that is genuinely funny. I especially liked the dog. Mine only appears to know one word, which is 'supper', but there again she is a Labrador. I'm sure this is going to be a great success, and deserves to be - ANNE YOUNGSON, Costa Book Award-shortlisted author of MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM

This incredible novel has EVERYTHING - an unforgettable heroine, wry humour, love, family and bucketloads of optimism and female empowerment. It's WONDERFUL - HANNAH BECKERMAN

An energetic debut ... A more adorable plea for rationalism and gender equality would be hard to find - KIRKUS (starred review)

Bold, smart and often hilarious look at so-called women's work - REAL SIMPLE, US

Charming and emboldening tale with a vintage sheen... A thoroughly entertaining and emboldened look at gender in the 1960s. A must read! - MAGIC RADIO, BOOK CLUB READ

Garmus delivers an assured voice, an indelible heroine and relatable love stories - WASHINGTON POST

Elizabeth is a woman who challenges the norms of a woman in the 60s...her perseverance to succeed is enthralling. The fight to do what she really wants, and that alone, is one that'll have you rooting for her throughout - STYLIST

Indefatigable and formidable, Elizabeth pushes the bounds of how women and their work are perceived in this thoroughly engaging debut novel - BOOKLIST

A kicky debut, this book tackles feminism, resilience, and rationalism in a fun and refreshing way - BUZZFEED

Every bit as brilliant as everyone is saying. Funny, clever, full of heart and wonderful characters. I loved it - A J PEARCE

Unforgettable ... Elizabeth Zott is intelligent, fearless, determined and utterly inspiring - CULTUREFLY

An absolute delight. Zott is a cracking protagonist - strikingly single-minded, socially awkward, fiercely determined to forge her own path - FINANCIAL TIMES, Best Audio Books

Witty, fast-paced and unabashedly amusing' Lessons in Chemistry is 'written with charm, verve and piercing insight ... a future classic - LITERARY REVIEW

The best book I've read recently. I loved it - SARA COX, BBC 2 Between the Covers

I loved it. You don't want to finish it. You don't want to put it down. It's wonderful to hear a voice that has total honesty and clarity. I love that Elizabeth Zott is funny and hasn't got a clue that she's funny - DEBORAH MEADEN, BBC 2 BETWEEN THE COVERS

I loved everything about it. There were so many things I could relate to - STEPHEN BAILEY, BBC 2 BETWEEN THE COVERS

i couldn't put it down. It was so easy to read: hilarious, heartfelt. With all of the issues that we are still dealing with right now. Heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure - SUKH OJLA

Laugh-aloud funny, witty and provocative, LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY recreates the rampant sexism of America just before Betty Friedan's THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE and the bonfire of the bras - THE TIMES, audiobook of the week

A funny, big-hearted read - THE TIMES, Summer Reading Choice

I adored this confident, witty portrait of an unforgettable woman and her time - DAILY MAIL, Summer reading recommendations

One of the smartest and funniest novels to appear this year - THE NEW EUROPEAN

We guarantee you will love this charming debut - HELLO MAGAZINE

This smart, uproarious, emotional page-turner...has been the year's runaway hit. Rightly so - SUNDAY TIMES, Books of the Year

Irresistible, a gorgeous tribute to resilience and the many types of love that sustain us - OPRAH DAILY

Sharp and deliciously readable. Brings bite as well as charm to the tale of a super-rational scientist navigating sexism in early 60s America. - GUARDIAN, Books of the Year

The idiosyncratic wit of this year's blockbuster debut is instantly appealing, but it's also a narrative with real bite. Uplifting and irresistibly zany - THE MAIL, Books of the Year

I fell for Elizabeth Zott immediately. A wonderfully entertaining and empowering read - GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, Books of the Year

A wonderful novel - polished, pacy, funny, witty, warm, life-affirming, and thought-provoking - SUNDAY MAIL, SCOTLAND

Witty and sometimes hilarious. The CATCH-22 of early feminism - STEPHEN KING

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““Chemistry is change.””

Lessons in Chemistry is an absolute must-read. It is set in the period between 1950s and 1960s and follows the story of Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant scientist who finds herself single, pregnant and out of job. When an... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 126
Dan - Clifton, Bristol.

“Meet Elizabeth Zott!”

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.
Equality. Such a foreign word to those working at Hastings Research in the early... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 85
Penelope Bullock

“An true feminist novel with an awe inspiring heroine.”

Brilliant! An original and refreshing novel, that introduces a fabulous character in Elizabeth Zott. I flew through this book, eating up every page and cheering on the characters. A true feminist novel with a truly... More

Hardback edition
5 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 81

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